I don’t know that I have ever seen square confetti, but there has to be a first time for everything. The weather has been so freezing cold and winter feeling endless this week, that I wanted to choose a sunny scarf, something which reminded me of summer days, garden parties, glasses of champagne, laughter, Valentine's Day, weddings, so why not confetti?
I pulled out this long number thinking it was silk, as it definitely had hand rolled edges. There was no signature, just one tiny label, unobtrusively hand stitched to a corner. It took me a long time to decipher the name....it is not obvious. I tried many combinations of letters before I finally got the name GLENTEX. Now, imagine my surprise when I read the rest of the label...... 100% polyester, machine washable, hand rolled, made in Japan. I have many silk scarves with machined edges, but not one in a synthetic fabric with hand rolled and hand stitched ones. This finish is labour intensive and expensive, the sign of an good quality product. I was now on a detective mission to know more about my mystery scarf.
I found an American company named Glensder Textiles started up in 1939 in New York with a subsidiary called Honey Fashions, making scarves and handkerchiefs. They patented the name Glentex and had a very successful business through the 50’s and 6O’s working with big names like Schiaparelli, Gloria Vanderbilt, Cacherel and Bill Blass. It seems that polyester was invented in 1941 so maybe it was considered worthwhile to hand finish an article such as mine. To be honest, if I hadn’t examined the label I would have thought it was pure silk. Yet, the scarf is long and this fashion did not come in until the 70’s so polyester was well established by then. Taking my research a little further, I find the company had a lawsuit against them in the 70’s as some of their silk scarves made in Japan were flammable. As a romantic Valentine's dinner in a fancy restaurant is a distant dream for me and others, I will have to be very careful in the kitchen this weekend whilst flaunting my ray of sunshine and confetti creation and cooking over a hot stove! I have a bad enough reputation for causing culinary conflagrations.
An interesting fact I unearthed about Glentex is that they made the campaign scarves for President Franklin D Roosevelt in 1940. I could not tell from the photograph from the Roosevelt Memorial archives which fabric was used or the finish of the hems! Well, I started the day choosing a sunny scarf covered with little square pieces of confetti, thinking it was pure Japanese silk. Little did I know where it would take me. I had imagined earlier today I would remember a wedding, scattering paper rose petal confetti, but I ended up with a four times American President and a current ex President facing impeachment. The history of the twentieth centuries as recorded through my scarves!
In a couple of days time, it will be Pancake Day. This week for my first foray to a real shop since the last lockdown I bought three new frying pans. Little did I think I would get excited about the purchase of such an everyday item instead of my former thrill of finding a beautiful vintage scarf. I will be wearing my Confetti scarf, being careful with the flames of the gas hob as I make the pancakes, and trust I don't splatter it with melted butter. I really don't want to test that machine washable claim. I am still not convinced it isn't silk.
It may just be that I have I lost not only my sense of smell and taste, but my silk-divining skills! ......and there is no evidence of my having had COVID 19!
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 32.