The beautiful thing about scarves is that they open the wearer to a world of wardrobe possibilities despite being a rather simple piece of fabric. The reason is because scarves can be worn so many ways, including around the neck, over the head, over the shoulders, around the waist, and more.
Scarves also come in such a wide variety of fabric types, that owning multiple types of scarves extends your wardrobe even further. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the different types of scarves and what each brings to the table, so you can always choose the right scarf for the occasion.
Different Types of Scarves
A scarf can be made from just about any type of fabric, but because they are often worn around the neck or head, they are usually made from fabrics that are known for their softness. The most common types of materials used to make scarves include:
Cotton scarves are common accessories found in most wardrobes because they’re versatile and affordable, and they’re available in a wide range of colors, patterns, designs, and sizes. Cotton is a popular material in scarves because it is soft, comfortable, and breathable, and it is usually preferred by those with sensitive skin because it isn’t as irritating as some other types of fabrics.
Silk scarves have a regal air about them because for ages, they were adorned predominantly by royals and others of wealth and class. They are cherished for their vibrant colors, eye-catching prints, and hypoallergenic properties, but also because silk is a premium material that is revered for its elegance. As a result, silk scarves can command a higher price, but when cared for properly, they retain their value exceptionally well. This makes silk scarves not only beautiful fashion accessories, but also good investments. An interesting feature about silk is that it helps retain the moisture in your skin and hair, so wearing it helps keep you looking younger, longer.
Linen scarves are great to have in your closet because this type of fabric suitable for wearing in all seasons. Linen scarves are just heavy enough to add warmth and comfort on cold winter days, yet light and thin enough to be worn in summer. They are available in a wide variety of bold colors and they’re among the more affordable types of scarves out there, so there’s no reason not to have a few in your wardrobe to maximize your versatility.
Satin is a glossy fabric that is made from polyester or silk, and it is used to create stunning scarves boasting bright, bold colors and vivid patterns. Satin scarves can also be produced in a range of different thicknesses and forms. Like silk, satin scarves can also protect your skin and hair from moisture loss. To the untrained eye, a satin scarf can be mistaken for silk because it shares many of its enviable attributes but at a more affordable price point.
Of all the different types of scarves, Cashmere is the most sought-after fabric because it not only keeps you warm, but it can also be worn in summer. Cashmere is one of the softest and most prized materials on the planet because it is only obtained from the undercoat of Cashmere goats. Cashmere demands proper care and attention because the ultra-fine fibers are highly delicate and susceptible to heat and moisture. But when given the right type of care, scarves made from this material can last for generations and as such, are often passed down as cherished family heirlooms.
Chiffon is an elegant fabric that is commonly used to make luxury garments and scarves. It has a semi-mesh weave that gives it a thin, almost see-through appearance. As a result, scarves made from chiffon are worn purely for their appearance instead of for any functional purpose. This type of scarf is often draped over the shoulders to add an extra sense of elegance to a strapless gown.
If you live in a cold climate, then having at least one Pashima scarf in your closet makes sense because it is not only a beautiful fabric, but also one that has very good insulative properties. Pashima is easy on sensitive skin, lightweight, and easy to carry around, but it can also protect you from cold winter breezes. As a result, it can be worn a variety of different ways, even around the neck as a winter undergarment.
Wool is a natural material that is obtained from mammals, so it is not only safe to be worn by just about every human, but it is also extremely breathable and comfortable. It can also be worn in both winter and summer. After all, wool is produced by animals to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Although many fear that wool might be irritating to the skin, the wool that is used to make scarves is usually very high quality and super soft to the touch. Another great feature of wool scarves is that they are ideal for allergy sufferers because pure wool is hypoallergenic.
Velvet scarves aren’t as popular as those made from other materials, but they are available in a massive range of colors and they do look beautiful. One of the reasons they aren’t as common is because they can be uncomfortable to wear around the neck in winter since the fabric is thick and tends to bunch up. As a result, this type of scarf is usually best worn graced over the shoulders to emphasize one’s lady-like charm.
Viscose is a common material used in scarves because it has a very soft, almost silk-like feel. In fact, viscose scarves offer the wearer the soft feel of silk and the breathability of cotton, but at a more affordable price. This type of material is also extremely easy to dye, so its choices in colors is near endless. But there are reasons why viscose scarves are so affordable. They are not only prone to stretching, but they also absorb moisture and oils from skin and hair, and this can cause spots to form on the fabric. Worse yet, when you try to treat spots on viscose, the cleaning process leaves behind permanent marks.
Net scarves are typically made from either silk, nylon, or polyester and depending on the material, they can either be soft, stiff, or coarse. The softest net scarves are those made from silk fiber, but these are also the more expensive of the types. It is important to note that net scarves are worn solely for accessorizing an outfit since they cannot keep you warm, but with the right outfit, a net scarf can elevate your sexiness.
Acrylic is a man-made material that is commonly used as an alternative to wool because it offers the wearer a wool-like feel but at a more affordable price. Scarves made from acrylic fibers are generally stain and wrinkle-resistant, and they retain their shape. But as close to wool as these scarves look and feel, they do not compare to wool’s softness and breathability, so there is a difference.
Alpacas produce fibers that are remarkably lighter and warmer than sheep’s wool, and very soft to the touch. The fibers are the animal’s natural insulator, so scarves made from this fabric are excellent for wearing in winter. In fact, alpaca is the warmest weatherproof fabric available today. But like Cashmere and wool, it can also help keep you cool in summer. Alpaca fabric is also resistant to stains, wind, and water, making for an incredibly versatile scarf that can be worn any time, anywhere, regardless of the weather.