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