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Blog 82 - Brides De Gala

Another one of my very best scarves today by Hermes. No, it’s nothing to do with wedding brides or rosy red Gala apples. My scarf is a design of fancy horse bridles for special occasions. It was designed by Hugh Grygkar in 1957 and proved to be a best seller for Hermes, being re-edited many times. I guess mine was one of the later versions, but I have certainly treasured it for many years. So many of the vintage designs showed horses, carriages, saddles and all the accoutrements of the loriner. My pale blue, grey and white scarf is a good example of luxurious bridles.

So what goes into making this scarf?

Did you know each silkworm devours 15 kilograms of mulberry leaves before spinning its cocoon which yields 450,000 metres of silk thread and each Hermes scarf needs two of these little fellows munching away to make one 90cmx90cm scarf? Hermes silk comes from Brazil and then the entire process takes place in Lyons, France. Their scarves are expensive but when one considers the work in producing them, the cost is justified.

First, the artist creates a design. The scarf is screen printed so an engraving has to be made of each colour....there could be up to 47 colours. The silk is stretched over a printing table, each colour being printed separately, dried and fixed with steam, a very laborious process. Finally, the printed silk is cut in squares and is finished by hand rolling and stitching the hems with silk thread. A seamstress might sew only seven scarves a day. You will know from my previous blogs how fussy I am that a good scarf is finished in this way. In the case of Hermes, the roll is always on the upper side of the square. Obviously, with an expensive scarf, there are counterfeits about.....I have one which I will wear for one of my blogs and you will notice the difference. I wanted a simple black and white number, but my fake hasn’t the right weight, the hems, although hand rolled and stitched, face the wrong way.......and I don’t feel special wearing it!

Yes, we have all come back from holiday with a fake watch, trainers, handbag or scarf but nothing matches up to the genuine article!

So, I will wear my Brides De Gala today and fancy I am off on Eurostar to Paris for a decadent lunch. In reality I will be having cheese on toasted cornbread, but I’ll add a good dollop of mango chutney to liven it up!

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you the silkworm comes from the silk moth Bombyxmori. The little blighters I have in my house don’t eat mulberry leaves. They prefer cashmere but have not dined on my silk....yet!

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 83.

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a joy to find your blog ! I have my own collection, not as world wide as yours but it does include brides de gala in a pink color way. Always makes my skin look better than it is ! thank you.


Liz Harker

Oh Hazell I love this one! I too have this Brides de Gala in just white, black and gold. One of my all time favourites. Thank you for enlightening us on how they are made. Fascinating. Looking forward to more beautiful designs. x

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