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Silk scarf/square edging question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, this is really ladies' clothing, but I suppose the same thing might go for silk pocket squares; I recently bought a cold-war-era silk "escape map", to give to the candidate Mrs. Strike (she flies, even once an old Tiger Moth) as a present: The idea behind these maps was that air force pilots would be able to carry a detailed, high-quality print map of the area they were flying over, in case they had to jump or were shot down. Silk maintains the print quality even when wet, and is far more robust than paper. There were usually overlapping map leaves on each side, so they would be double-side printed. The WWII-vintage ones can be fiercely expensive, but the cold-war era ones, like the one in the photo above, can be had for down to $12.50, typically from a place like this: http://www.ima-usa.com/product_info.php/cPath/1_51/products_id/105?osCsid=e3a88dd83ff541634ba0536766a5b88e The silk map arrived with fifty-year old folds in it, and some yellowing on the small portion which had been lying on the outside. It had the govt./army storage smell, something like floor wax and machine oil. The smell went completely away in the washing, though. The trouble is, the edges weren't finished – so the question is: Could I use this article from AskAndy to edge it myself as a headscarf for Gf/Can/Mrs, or should it get a professional job? http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Tutorials/HOBERHowToMakeAPocketSquare.htm
post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 
Some of my work deals with military “collectibles” like this, and for me, it’s fascinating to see how something presented as a piece for say, cold-war-era historical collectors, actually has a higher value as a utilitarian object than as a collector’s item. Another thought: This must be quite cheap silk for the quality – someone in the vintage clothing business could source these, and sell them as is or typically converted to scarves or blouses. Something like that could also be marketed as a piece of “conversational” clothing, like the local “ethnic” clothes people bring back from holiday. Imean, the maps are slightly outdated, but still "functional" objects. Would be fantastic if someone actually could make some business out of this.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Bump - has anyone here actually tried edging a silk square themselves, using this article or not? http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Tutorials/HOBERHowToMakeAPocketSquare.htm
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Bump - has anyone here actually tried edging a silk square themselves, using this article or not?

http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Tutorials/HOBERHowToMakeAPocketSquare.htm


Hello Lucky Strike,

I wrote the article thinking that lots of people would be making pocket squares. Howver, several people have promised to post photos of pocket squares and ties on Ask Andy & Style Forum that they have made using our articles but I have not yet seen a single one.

Which leads me to believe that it may be harder to do than the pictures imply... If you know exactly what you are doing and use 6 stitches per inch it will take you about 1 1/2 hours to make a 16" pocket square.

With that said here are my thoughts:

If you have never used a needle and thread before I probably would not attempt to edge the silk yourself. On the other hand if you can sew on a button without a problem and you think that it would be fun to sew the edges of your map then I would attempt it.

You may wish to to practice on some sample silk first (smiling). I do not recommend tearing up your ties. If you are very serious, email me and I will be happy to send you some silk at no charge to practice on. Encouragement also comes at no charge (smiling).

By the way I think that your map idea is a great one, you have a very creative eye.

Standing by to help you.

Good luck,
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Wow - didn't see this before I got your PM, mulberrywood - thank you very much for the info. Coincidence today led me to an upstart, upscale men's shop around the corner from where I live, and I asked the owner how much their tailor would charge to properly edge a square of silk. My plan is this: GF comes back after three weeks abroad on Monday night, which will mean that I'll see her Tuesday. The shop quoted me around $40 to have it done by hand. It's a large piece of silk; 24"x36", so I found that reasonable. And as you said:
Quote:
If you have never used a needle and thread before I probably would not attempt to edge the silk yourself. On the other hand if you can sew on a button without a problem and you think that it would be fun to sew the edges of your map then I would attempt it.
Well, this goes for me. I'll go back to the sew-on-a-button article, I think. But thank you again for trying to help; I've just ordered another map to make pocket squares for myself, - I'll cut out the "local" part in a pocket square-size, and try it on my own, when I have more time on my hands, and have tried on a few easier-to-come-by pieces of silk - I'll just scissor the edges off a couple of pocket squares I don't like that much and never wear, and roll away. Expect a "this is how I rolled" thread...
post #6 of 25
I started one a while ago with a piece of cotton cut from a ruined shirt. It took me a very long time and I stalled about a third of the way through. Will have to finish it at some point while watching baseball.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Wow - didn't see this before I got your PM, mulberrywood - thank you very much for the info.

Coincidence today led me to an upstart, upscale men's shop around the corner from where I live, and I asked the owner how much their tailor would charge to properly edge a square of silk. My plan is this: GF comes back after three weeks abroad on Monday night, which will mean that I'll see her Tuesday. The shop quoted me around $40 to have it done by hand. It's a large piece of silk; 24"x36", so I found that reasonable.
And as you said:
Well, this goes for me. I'll go back to the sew-on-a-button article, I think. But thank you again for trying to help; I've just ordered another map to make pocket squares for myself, - I'll cut out the "local" part in a pocket square-size, and try it on my own, when I have more time on my hands, and have tried on a few easier-to-come-by pieces of silk - I'll just scissor the edges off a couple of pocket squares I don't like that much and never wear, and roll away.
Expect a "this is how I rolled" thread...

Lucky Strike,


Very few tailors can properly hand roll and edge a pocket square or scarf.

They cut corners. Here are the questions to ask:

1) Can I see an example of your work?

2) Do you hand roll and hand sew the edge or do you use a sewing machine?

3) How many stitches per inch do you use? (5 to 6 is the correct answer)

4) How often do you do this type of work?


Now if they give you all the correct answers which I strongly doubt, $40 is a bargain. We would charge closer to $55 for edging a scarf of that size by hand.

Looking forward to hearing how it works out. Send me an email if you need some small pieces of silk to practice on. It would be my pleasure to give you some to encourage you.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123
I started one a while ago with a piece of cotton cut from a ruined shirt. It took me a very long time and I stalled about a third of the way through. Will have to finish it at some point while watching baseball.

Chorse123,


Keep going!


Thanks again for your email with ideas for me, they were greatly appreciated.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulberrywood
Lucky Strike, Very few tailors can properly hand roll and edge a pocket square or scarf. They cut corners. Here are the questions to ask: 1) Can I see an example of your work? 2) Do you hand roll and hand sew the edge or do you use a sewing machine? 3) How many stitches per inch do you use? (5 to 6 is the correct answer) 4) How often do you do this type of work? Now if they give you all the correct answers which I strongly doubt, $40 is a bargain. We would charge closer to $55 for edging a scarf of that size by hand.
Thanks again, mulberrywood - went there this morning, and the man still gave me a price of $40 - I'll see how it works out. I'm not too worried; after all, these maps aren't more than $12.50 plus shipping. Mightn't they be good material for - well - you? I suppose they could be used for linings etc. as well - imagine turning your blazer inside out to have a look at the map...
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Mightn't they be good material for - well - you? I suppose they could be used for linings etc. as well - imagine turning your blazer inside out to have a look at the map...


I am thinking about buying a few just for fun to make into pocket squares.


I am curious did you ask the tailor the questions that I suggested?
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Just got the thing back - machine-sewn edges. Oh well - at the cost of $12, I suppose it's an easy write-off.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Strike
Just got the thing back - machine-sewn edges. Oh well - at the cost of $12, I suppose it's an easy write-off.
"The shop quoted me around $40 to have it done by hand. It's a large piece of silk; 24"x36", so I found that reasonable." What happened? They didn't charge you for machine edges when they promised hand-rolled, did they?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
No - I paid the equivalent of $14 for the edging, so I suppose I'll try again alter. Did you buy any, Mulberry?
post #14 of 25
I looked at the site that I found from you and did not find the right maps yet. I would love some WWII OSS maps of Thailand. Please let me know if you find some.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Here's another site - Burma (Rangoon/Mandalay) is the closest I can find. http://www.omnimap.com/catalog/access/silkmaps.htm
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