Scarves have been around for centuries. In fact, there is a 9th century BC statue, Ashurnasirpal that shows the emperor wearing a shawl. A scarf may appear to be a simple garment that adds warmth in chilly weather, but it can also be a fantastic fashion accessory.
What you may not realize is that there are many different types of scarves. Each one has a different design or material that can determine its best use. Here we’ll explore the types of scarves’ names and their function.
Firstly, we’ll delve into the types of scarves based on their style.
Regular scarves are what many people picture when they think of a scarf. You can wrap a scarf around your neck to keep you warm in winter or to accessorize your outfit. A regular scarf can add style and elegance to a basic work outfit or dress up a day ensemble to head out for drinks in the evening.
If you’ve just purchased a great knitting machine like the Addi Express, your first project is likely to be a regular scarf. This will allow you to experiment with different colors of yarn without needing to worry about following a complicated knitting pattern.
Cowls are often confused with hoods, but these terms refer to different things. Cowls are not worn on your head, but rather around your neck. These types of scarves are designed explicitly for winter, as they can create a nice layer of warmth. For this reason, they are typically knitted with wool or made of jersey.
However, a cowl is a ready to use scarf, as you simply need to pull it over your head rather than needing to wrap it around your neck.
Infinity scarves are a little like a cowl, as you pass it over your head, but they have a bigger hole so you can wrap it around your neck twice.
This type of scarf is a sewn piece of material with less drape, typically made from heavier materials to help you stay warm and stylish in winter.
Many people assume that a cowl and a snood are the same thing, but there are some key differences. While a cowl is worn around the neck, a snood is almost like a combination of cowl and hood. So, you’ll have a piece of fabric to cover both your head and your neck.
Whether you’re following summer or winter fashion trends, a triangle scarf can be a great addition to your wardrobe. This is a fashion accessory rather than a piece of fabric to keep you feeling warm.
Since it is a fashion accessory, triangle scarves come in a variety of fabrics. As its name suggests, triangle scarves have a triangle shape. Two corners wrap around your neck to fall on your shoulders with the third corner drops down to cover your chest.
A stole is like a narrower width traditional scarf. It has a strip shape, so you can wrap it around your neck or allow it to drape down across one shoulder.
Stoles are typically winter season accessories, so they tend to be made with plush or soft materials. The most common type of stole is fur, which can be carried with formal wear, but they can also be made from silk for pre winter events.
A muffler scarf is a less expensive version of a stole. While stoles are typically made from expensive materials, mufflers come in less luxurious and more common fabrics.
A shawl is one of the largest types of scarves. They have a rectangular shape and bigger size, so you can wear it on your shoulders, cover your back or wear it around your head and neck.
Shawls are made from a variety of materials, so they can be worn in summer or winter.
Many types of scarves for men and women are available according to their material. While you can make a scarf out of practically any fabric, the choice of material will dictate how you use or wear it.
Cotton is the most common and versatile material for scarves. There is a variety of cotton fabrics that can complement practically any outfit from jeans to a suit. A cotton scarf can add elegance to an outfit, but is also a breathable, comfortable fabric. This makes cotton scarves suitable even if you have a skin sensitivity.
Chiffon is an elegant, lightweight fabric. It drapes well and has a semi mesh weave, making it a super chic choice for scarves. However, since they are so light, chiffon will not keep you warm, so they are purely a fashion accessory.
If you are attending a formal dinner, draping a chiffon scarf on your shoulders can provide a classy look. But, chiffon scarves can also look fantastic with an informal outfit.
Wool is a great choice if you’re looking for a scarf to keep you feeling warm and cozy. The best yarn for scarves are soft to the touch, yet feel comfortable and breathable.
If you suffer from skin allergies when you wear some fabrics, a pure wool scarf is likely to be the best option for you. Wool also has fine fibers which make the material durable. So, if you invest in a good quality woolen scarf, you’re sure to have it in your closet for many years to come.
Net can be coarse or soft, but most net scarves have a soft texture that will not feel like it is pricking your skin as you wear it. A net scarf is a great accessory to a formal or casual outfit. They can look elegant and pretty with a formal outfit or add a splash of color to a daytime look.
Silk is a luxurious fabric and scarves in this material feature vibrant colors and prints. While they tend to be more expensive than many other types of scarves, they typically hold their value and elegance after years of use.
Cashmere is one of the most luxurious materials for scarves. It not only provides warmth, but can look stunning. Cashmere scarves can be worn in winter, but they don’t make you sweat in warmer weather.
This is a lightweight fabric that has a soft and silky feel. Cashmere is available in a rainbow of colors.
A velvet scarf can look beautiful, but it is a thick fabric. So, you’ll need to consider the width of the scarf carefully, so you don’t feel uncomfortably warm. Velvet looks elegant and pretty, and they are available in a massive selection of colors. You can use your velvet scarf to make you feel warm or drape it gracefully over your shoulders to complement your outfit.
Pashmina scarves are popular for their lovely texture and insulating characteristics. This creates a pretty look, yet can protect you from the chill of a winter breeze. Pashmina scarves are soft and lightweight, making them ideal to carry in spring or fall. If you’re headed out to dinner, but are worried about feeling cool later in the evening, you can take your pashmina scarf out of your bag and feel comfortable and stylish.
Viscose scarves are another popular material, as they have a silky, soft feel that drapes beautifully. Viscose has the soft feeling of silk, while offering the breathability of cotton, yet they are an inexpensive option.
This material is easy to dye, so these scarves are available in vivid, bold colors. However, viscose is prone to stretching and becomes weak when wet. Additionally, spot cleaning may leave a permanent mark.
Acrylic can be a great alternative to wool for scarves. Acrylic yarn such as Red Heart provides a soft and inexpensive alternative to wool, which makes them a great option if you have a wool allergy.
Acrylic fibers are lightweight and don’t need any special care. Generally, acrylic scarves are wrinkle and stain resistant, but they are not as breathable as wool. They will still provide comfort and warmth and your acrylic scarf will retain its shape.
While you may think sheep’s wool is the softest natural fiber, you should feel alpaca. This material is warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool to create a luxurious, soft touch.
Alpaca fabric is stain and water-resistant, it is also hypoallergenic. While it is a warm fabric, it also helps you to feel cool in summer. This makes it a great choice for all types of scarves in all seasons.
Linen scarves are not specific to any season, and they can transform the look of your outfit. If the weather feels too warm for a jacket but too cold for a sleeveless top, a linen scarf can provide the solution. You can pair a bright linen scarf with a more neutral top to balance your look.
Satin is a soft material made from silk or polyester in a variety of thicknesses. This glossy fabric can dress up an outfit, helping you to go from daytime to ready to party. These scarves are available in bold colors and bright patterns.
Fleece is a cozy material, making it a great choice for a winter scarf. Fleece is made using fine fibers that are brushed into a thick and fluffy fabric. It can be made with polyester or natural fibers.
Now we’ve explored the names of different types of scarves and their characteristics, you should be able to see that there are scarves to suit all weathers and occasions. Whether you’re looking to stay warm and cozy, add a pop of color to your outfit or dress up your casual attire, there are some fantastic types of scarves available.
Hopefully this article has provided you with enough information so you can shop for scarves with confidence.