A dear friend, an avid collector herself, pointed out to me that I should have mentioned one more scarf here, and because I value her opinion and she has a point, I will re-post this with the suggested changes.
Towards the end of last year, I wrote that I am about to embark on several posts, including an article about the Hermès jacquard scarves. Already behind on my promise, I do want to start this year with these fantastic scarves, that unfortunately, due to high costs, Hermes stopped producing in 2001/2002.
What is a jacquard? It is a special type of fabric with a raised woven, not printed, pattern lending a certain luxuriousness to the fabric.
There are several types of jacquard fabrics, brocade for instance uses different colors of thread, while damask uses just one color and is reversible. Brocade was quite popular with my mother in the sixties. She had several bespoke dresses with matching coats for an elegant night out.
Damask, on the other hand, was preferred by my grandmother, who loved her sheets in a bright white damask, ironed, of course. No secret where my love of these fabulous fabrics comes from (as does my love of dressing up and yes, ironing too)
My favorite, however, without a shadow of a doubt, are the Hermes silk jacquard scarves!
Woven patterns are created on a special type of a loom, the jacquard loom, which can be programmed to achieve the desired woven patterns. This fabulous invention is credited to a French merchant and weaver, Joseph Marie Jacquard, who was born in 1752 to a large family in Lyon. Lyon is home to the factory where Hermes produces their carres to this day.
Hermès typically uses a silk twill for their 90 cm squares, but on occasion, a special design would be produced on a silk jacquard. I have noticed that majority of the jacquards were produced in the early 1990s but production became less and less as the decade came to an end with production ceasing completely in 2001/2002.
There are numerous Hermès jacquard patterns, which typically correlate with the overall design of the scarf. Perfect examples can be seen in the La Comedie Italienne (more on this scarf here) that features guitar and lute players and which are echoed in a beautiful lute and guitar pattern.
The iconic Napoleon carre has both a printed and woven bee pattern, Napoleon’s favorite symbol for victory and power for his empire. You can read more about the Inspiration behind Philippe Ledoux’s 1963 Napoleon carre and the importance of the bee as a symbol here .
There are so many gorgeous jacquards, but I must mention at least a couple more; the Orgauphone et Autres Mecaniques by Francoise Faconnet was designed and issued in 1996 and appropriately features a Treble Clef.
The Daimyo – Princes Du Soleil Levant, originally issued in 1990, is another example of Françoise Faconnet’s artistic talents and the beautiful use of a jacquard to enhance an already stunning design. This carre features a rather large Ginko leaf pattern that, when I saw it for the first time, took my breath away.
Last but not least…
The Feux d’Artifice was issued in 1987 to celebrate and commemorate 150 years of Hermes and the 50th birthday of the Hermes carre. A special issue scarf, it was appropriately issued on the fireworks jacquard.
and was In my humble opinion, the Jacquards are some of the most beautiful scarves, not just from an artistic point of view but also their wearability. I find the silk to be typically more fluid and elegant with the weave adding a certain bit of luxury.
The Jacquards as we know and love them are a thing of the past and as their production was limited to begin with, they have earned a special place in many collectors’ hearts.
I will leave you with a photo gallery of many of the jacquards but before I do that, I would like to mention that Hermès also produced some gorgeous mens’ ties, called façonné and here is a favorite example.
Some of the Hermes Silk Jacquards…enjoy
Do not forget to shop our exquisite collection of jacquards