In praise of light-weight scarves

lathechuck's picture

A year or two ago, I made three simple scarves of "shirting" flannel, and found that they were excellent for keeping my body warm in cool room conditions. Of course, you'll want to combine them with layers of other clothes: I usually wear a cotton T-shirt, flannel shirt, and either synthetic or natural fleece vest, and sometimes a synthetic fleece-lined cap. But without a scarf, that left my neck (with its high-capacity blood vessels) exposed to the cold. (It also left my shirt collar exposed to more skin oil and sweat, which was both unsightly and shortened the life of the shirts.)

My basic scarf is one layer of flannel thick, about 8" x 40". I don it over the T-shirt, with one end smoothed over one shoulder, once around loosely, and the other end on the other shoulder. Since it's thin woven flannel, it's much less bulky than a hand-knit traditional winter scarf (and probably shorter in length).

It's basically the same idea, on a smaller scale, as the Arab shemagh (or keffiyah). Shemaghs are readily available through on-line sellers, if you don't want to make your own, but the simple scarf that I describe above needs only hemming of the seams. It's hard to imagine a simpler sewing project.

This is a great, first-time sewing project.
But if you don't sew, every thrift shop is loaded with scarves.
They go in and out of fashion and right now, they seem to be headed out.
Remember when every woman wore some cloth around the neck? Especially those infinity scarves?
With the trend fading, that means the scarves are heading to a new life at the consignment shop or thrift shop.

The next time you're there, check out the scarves and then you can do what Lathechuck does but without needing to sew.

lathechuck's picture

I haven't looked in a thrift shop, but I imagine that they mostly sell decorative scarves for women. Plaid or solid-color flannel works for me, both for warmth and style. For outdoors, I have a wool knit scarf, but it's much too bulky to wear under an indoor shirt.