The PS square scarf: available again
The small, fine cashmere scarf I designed three years ago with Begg & Co - intended to be worn on cold days tucked into knitwear - is available again.
It's on the PS Shop now, in grey, navy and green.
I've reproduced some of the description from November 2015 below, with the original thought process and product details.
If anything, it seems more relevant than ever, and the experiences more true for three years of consistent wear.
[Do note, though, that the top image and tying images show the 'natural' colour of scarf, which is not in the current range.]
Men have historically always worn something at the neck – if it wasn’t a tie, it was an ascot or a workman’s neckerchief. Such things are practical, for work and for warmth.
We worked with weavers Begg & Co on our own, modern equivalent. It's a square scarf in ultra-lightweight cashmere, beautifully soft and luxurious, that is designed to be tied and tucked into a sweater.
I’ve been wearing mine regularly, and find it particularly nice when a big, long scarf feels cumbersome - but having something against the neck is great to keep out the morning chill.
The three colours - navy, grey and green - go with the whole range of knitwear, just some of which is shown here.
If one thing sets the squares apart, however, it is the Wispy cashmere they are made of.
Begg developed the Wispy with an ultra-fine white cashmere fibre. It’s so fine that it would normally snap under the tension of a loom, but they use a patented coating on the cashmere to allow it to be woven, and then wash the coating out afterwards.
The scarves are woven in Begg’s Scottish factory, on the west coast in Ayr. Begg has been the premier scarf manufacturer in the country for decades, but until recently only made for other brands (including some of the biggest designer houses).
You can read more on our visit to the Begg factory here.
We also decided to give the scarves hand-rolled edges, like a good handkerchief.
Of course, hand rolling adds considerably to the time of production and cost of the product. But I wanted to produce the absolute finest piece I could – and the wispy cashmere deserves it.
The scarf is designed to be folded along its diagonal, creating a triangle, and then tied at the front (as shown above).
The great thing about folding this way is that the point extends down the back, preventing the scarf from riding up and exposing the skin to the cold.
The knot can be a simple over-and-under (like an ascot), a square knot, or even a four-in-hand. Personally, though, I prefer a simple over-and-under, as it's the easiest and least fussy.
It can also be nice to wrap the scarf around twice before knotting. This creates a thicker band of cashmere, and is chunkier but warmer.
The problem with most scarf rings is that they are usually decorative and fancy, often gold-plated. To counter this, we used solid brass (which looks substantial), tumbled it (which looks worn and matte) and made it highly practical.
The brass is uncoated, so it will tarnish over time (or can be polished to bring it back). The inside of the ring also naturally polishes with the action of pulling the scarf through repeatedly, creating a nice contrast.
Other details on the products:
- The cashmere squares measure 70cm on each side
- Dry clean only. Scarves can be pressed lightly, using a cool iron
- Cost is £145 plus VAT for the scarf, available here
- Rings are £54 plus VAT, here
Photography: Jamie Ferguson