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Begg and Co at Pitti Uomo 83

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Meet the new Begg, rebranded Begg and Co, now designing scarves of its own, and with a brand new minimalist logo. The company remains the same one that has been weaving Scottish cloth since the 19th century, as the pattern book with items dating back to the 1920's suggests.

When I'm looking for a scarf, I want it to be warm, I want it to feel great wrapped around my neck, I want it to have dimensions sufficient for tying the knots I want, and finally, I want it to be interesting - since it's taking up a lot of important real estate in my outfit - but easy to pair with other items, since I don't want to build a scarf collection as big as my tie collection to accessorize all my different jackets.

The first few requirements should be easy enough to design, and yet in your typical department store you'll find a number of scarves that can't make their way through a typical Parisian knot, as manufacturers are constantly trying to cut fabric in order to save money. This was not a problem with any of the Begg scarves I saw. The dimensions are not uniform, as each scarf is designed according to the properties of the fabric and how it is meant to be tied. But you'll never find yourself frustrated with a lack of fabric needed to tie a nice knot on a Begg scarf.

But the combination of visual interest and versatility is really what separates an invaluable scarf from a pedestrian one. Fortunately, with Michael Drake consulting through his company Man Drake as well as Angela Bell of Queen and Belle, we are in good hands. Let's look at a couple of ways that Begg achieves a scarf that is attractive while remaining versatile enough to wear with virtually any menswear outfit.

The first is what they call their "Nuance" scarf, which gradually fades from one color to another over the length of the scarf. This fading is done not by dip-dying the fabric but rather by actually altering the ratio of the different colored threads in the weaving process. The yarns must be measured and dyed by hand in order to achieve the proper effect, a process which is unique to Begg and Co. The fabric is then run through a machine that is hand-fitted with dried teasels, which brush the fabric and give it a very slight shaggy texture. Between the color fading and the interest from the texture, you've got yourself a very handsome scarf that is definitely not boring, but which you can grab out the door without even thinking about what else you're wearing that day.

The second is their collection of washed cashmere scarves. This was one of the very few items at Pitti that I knew I would definitely be purchasing once it becomes available (the cashmere and silk Drake's scarves were another such item - I suppose my shopping cart will be scarf-heavy this fall). These are cashmere scarves that are literally washed in water until they get the rough finish that you see in the photos.

For me, this was particularly effective on the neutral colored fabrics. To my Classic Menswear eye, the formality of the navy struggles with the roughness of the finish. But on the cream and tan colors it comes out beautifully. It's just a neutral solid scarf, so it will go with everything you have. But it's not boring because of all the texture it has. Perhaps too much to look at home with a full city suit look (the same scarves are available without the washing treatment for a smoother finish), but anything short of that, and this will fit right in. And while the brushed cashmere scarves feel like a soft lustrous fur coat against your skin, these give you a satisfying bit of crunchiness.

Begg and Co will launch its own online retail site in September, in time to order scarves in preparation for the colder weather in the Northern Hemisphere. With any luck global warming will hold off long enough to give me a few winters of wearing Begg scarves in DC.


The new Begg and Co logo


Patterns from the '20s.


The Nuance scarf.


Teasles. The ones used in the actual teasel-ing are smaller.


Beautiful washed cashmere scarves.


Bonus shot: in the middle you see a scarf in the original Prince of Wales pattern, in the original colors. It's going to be hard for me to resist that one too.
post #2 of 14
Nice stuff, unbel.

I like the ombre effect on the Nuance scarf. Is the top end blue and the bottom gray?

I don't have a Begg & Co. washed cashmere scarf, but I have one from another company and it is very lightweight and lofty, but warm. It's probably not the best quality and I'd like the same thing with better weaving/finishing, so I'll be watching for them.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Some more Begg pics for your viewing pleasure:









post #4 of 14
great stuff
post #5 of 14

Thank you, Bel Ragazzo,  for such a well done introduction to these beautiful things.

post #6 of 14

Thanks for the pics and the writeup.  That blue scarf on the right in the last picture is a must-kop itam for me.

post #7 of 14
The Prince of Wales one looks fantastic. I bought a couple of solid coloured wool+angora scarves from them this winter and I am more than happy with the beautiful, deep colours and the solid fabric. I wish there were more boutiques that carry them in North America!
post #8 of 14
Great read. That nuance scarf is awesome. Begg is my best scarf I own. Looking forward to more.
post #9 of 14
How do they achieve that ripple finish? Is that with the dried teasels?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep, that's the teasels.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Yep, that's the teasels.

I didnt know what a teasel was before I read this, but i am glad I do.

I plan to pepper analogies with that. "Hoo boy, did that ever ripple my teasels".
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

The first is what they call their "Nuance" scarf, which gradually fades from one color to another over the length of the scarf. This fading is done not by dip-dying the fabric but rather by actually altering the ratio of the different colored threads in the weaving process. The yarns must be measured and dyed by hand in order to achieve the proper effect, a process which is unique to Begg Co.

Don't think this is entirely true, as I have seen Neiman Marcus private label (unless they are rebranded Beggs) and Colombo scraves that have the same effect.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
^are you sure they weren't dip dyed?
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
For Begg-lovers, the site mentioned in the article is now up:

www.beggandcompany.com

Also available at SF affiliates No Man Walks Alone:

http://www.nomanwalksalone.com/index.php/makers/makersinfo/view/id/107/
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