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Scarf and Wild Rag FAQs

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Many folks have asked about the different types of silk and the feel of the silk used in our CC "mascadas" (scarves, wild rags). The following are a few notes I have made which might help to answer your questions. Although far from complete, we'll add data as your questions develop. As always, if you have specific needs or questions, give us a call or email and we'll do our best to answer (or find the answer for you).

Dorothy "The Scarf Lady"

Q. How did you come to be called The Scarf Lady?

A wonderful entertainer and fabulous roper beloved the world over, Montie Montana used to call me "My Scarf Lady" which became "The Scarf Lady" to friends---especially when he forgot my name in the beginning. I was blessed to make scarves for Montie and his lovely wife, Merrilee until his passing.

Montie was an American icon, but more. Merrilee was a source of great encouragement to me during a tough time. She went out of her way to call and help. Montie loved America and people. He was active and had some specific costume requirements. His choice of scarf reflected this---always a lightweight red, white or blue.

Q. What size are the CC scarves and what are the prices?

You may order any size of mascada you desire providing the silk width will allow. The size, difficulty of hand rolling and blanking out as well as the fabric itself determine the prices. The limited edition silks price ranges are higher than the standard silks. Custom wild rags are priced individually.

California scarves average 20-24 inches square.

Buckaroo sizes average 34-36 inches square.

Buckaroo extra large average 37-43 inches square.

We also offer Limited Edition silks for a one of a kind scarf made especially for you.

CC also offers an affordable array of good polys, poly jacquards and rayon scarves. These grant a larger selection of prints and patterns as well as price points. Polys require little care that makes many happy. Taken out of a cool dryer immediately, they often don't require ironing. Rayon provides a cool alternative, but needs to be ironed to look good as it creases and will shrink.

Q. Do you do custom work?

That's my specialty! If you want a triple wrap or played football, that is not a problem as long as the fabric is wide enough. For very, very wide scarves, it may be necessary to go to poly or rayon to get the width needed. Some poly and/or rayon wild rags have been hand rolled at 46 inches in width, but most silks are not offered that wide. Generally, they will be made 40 inches square tops.

Since scarves are gathered at the neck to wear, silk can be joined to make a super-sized scarf, if needed, in a favorite pattern or color. Call to visit about your needs. I have also made wild rags for small to huge dogs, for children and petites.

If you desire a long, narrow scarf or other shape, give me a call and we'll design a special scarf for you. If you are a member of a group and need a really special scarf to set the group apart, call for information on custom silk screening of logos or special art.

Q. Why not wear any scarf?

If you are happy with your wild rag, enjoy it! Make sure it is made in the USA and support our country.

You're not like everyone else. I want to develop a scarf to meet your needs, enhance your looks and expand your wardrobe. You don't need to wear a scarf you will see on half of the guys at the branding or at the dance. CC offers the chance to express your individuality with your choice of fabric and slide.

Q. What makes hand rolling better? Do you have a guarantee?

Some so-called "made by hand" wild rags are actually rolled on a machine and serged. If an edge gets caught, this scarf is done. It will have to be replaced as the serging unravels. If sewn on a sewing machine, the edge is thick and flat not allowing proper drape. It also must be replaced once the edge is violated. This doesn't give the look, drape or ability to repair the CC mascadas provide.

If something happens to your favorite CC wild rag, call me. Send it back and I will evaluate the prospects. One of our biggest mascada collectors, the late Chet Behen, had his favorite California scarf chewed by his favorite dog. (No, he didn't shoot the dog, but it was close). Was able to reweave the center hole and re-roll the seams so that no one was able to tell the damage the teeth had inflicted. This is one of the advantages of personalized service and handwork.

If you receive a scarf that you don't like, send it back prior to wearing it within two weeks of receipt. We will credit you at the shop toward another scarf, gear, books, music, etc. We want you to be happy models!

Q. How long do I have to wait?

I personally hand roll (no machines) the edges of your scarves. This takes several hours after the scarf is blanked out. The projected schedule depends upon my work load at the shop, travel for the shop, duties at the ranch and sleep. I work at a steady pace with a few rest periods. I will complete my 6,000th mascada during 2012.

If I am searching for a particular fabric for you, it will take the time it takes to locate and make it. Will keep in touch.

Q. If my scarf is silk, why doesn't it feel "silky"?

The feel of the silk is called the "hand." Generally, for CC scarves I look for a fabric with a good hand and a nice drape. The seizing put on the fabric before it is rolled for sale can make a big difference in the hand and the drape when you first feel it in the package at CC.

Sometimes the seizing is so heavy, it makes the silk feel stiff. This will change with wearing and with washing. These fabrics will often last a little longer than those that start out super soft. They also stay "crisp" looking for a time and later soften. Other fabrics are truly silky soft when you first receive them.

The number of threads per inch is counted in millimeters as "momme." This makes a difference in the firmness, weight and the drape of the fabric. CCs' wild rags can be light, medium, heavy and a few are almost like a muffler.

There are many types of silk. The type of silk also determines the hand, weight and drape.

Q. What is silk and how is it made?

Silk is a hollow protein fiber made by unwinding the chrysalis of a silk moth/worm. The making of silk fabric started in China over 4,000 years ago and still takes a tremendous amount of manual labor. What we call "raw" silk is nubby. It is made without special food for the worm/moths. It isn't used for our CC mascadas. The silks we select for you are made by worms/moths given an enhanced diet for a smoother thread.

Q. How to I care for my scarf?

Silk can be warm and also wick away perspiration. Although silk has a smooth surface that doesn't attract dirt and resists mildew, silk should have regular cleaning or washing---especially if exposed to a great deal of salts.

Silk may be dry cleaned, but can turn dull after a period of time and the chemicals may irritate certain people. It also takes time, effort and money to get scarves to the cleaners. Most can be hand washed in warm water. Use a little white vinegar in the second rinse water followed by a clear water rinse. Silk is like hair: it becomes weaker when wet. Don't wring the wild rag. Either wrap it in a towel and let sit then iron it or drape it over a hanging towel to partially dry and iron it while still damp.

Strong detergents, chemicals, sunlight, bleach, perspiration salts (left in long term) and high heat can harm silk permanently. Silk threads don't shrink, but the spaces between threads will constrict. Always allow silk to dry naturally, if possible, or fluff in a cool dryer for a short time (the wild rag will shrink in size a little). Only use a cool iron on your wild rag and iron when still slightly damp.

Types of Silk

We have a huge selection of types of silks, patterns, colors, weights, etc. from which to choose. some of those you will find are:

Sandwashed silks are generally heavier in weight so they are not often chosen for warm climates. These work well for winter. They are durable and feature a somewhat dull finish with a nice hand. The thickness can be a problem for those with smaller necks.

China silk (usually dyed), or the close cousin Japanese Habotai, are lightweight silks with fewer threads per square inch than many of the European silks. They have a bright sheen and are perfect for warmer weather or for those who don't want anything constricting their necks. These are less expensive and generally are available in an array of rich, solid colors.

Charmeuse is a beautiful medium to heavy fabric with almost a satin appearance on the front with a dull backside. It has a wonderful hand and drape in a huge variety of patterns making it a favorite for CC wild rags. They make a wild rag that feels like a tender hug around the neck.

Jacquards are generally medium in weight with a pattern woven into the fabric itself---usually tonal color on color. This is another favorite for CC scarves. Jacquards can also often be worn with patterned clothing without too much "fighting."

Silk broadcloth reminds one of the feel and look of good cotton. It has no sheen. It can be quite comfortable in warmer climates.

Silk crepe and crepe de chine are not often used in CC scarves because of the texture. On men, the pebbly texture tends to catch in the beard stubble and rotate in that direction. This fabric likes to unravel. It can shrink a good deal so it must be drip-dried (the silk threads don't shrink, but the spaces between threads will constrict).


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