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USA-based Modefa contacted me a short time ago to review a silk scarf from the new Fall/Winter (12/13) Armine collection. I was obviously happy to oblige as not only are the scarves gorgeous and lush but the company is a pleasure to deal with, mash’Allah. I always feel good when I support a small scale Muslim business as its such a struggle trying to grow a company, particularly in this economy!
I chose the Armine Esin silk scarf because it has colors which I love and wear a lot of (shades of blue) and the design is slightly traditional but not bland. Hence I will get a lot of wear out of this scarf! en’sha’Allah.
Here it is laid out…I like that there are florals but the florals aren’t overwhelming or everywhere and there isn’t a huge range of designs on one scarf. I know some women love scarves with a lot of pop, but give me the more traditional or simpler styles and I’m happy.
I previously reviewed a Aker silk scarf sent to me by Modefa in August, if you’re interested, you can read that review here.
Now, i had wanted to get this review out a good week ago, but thanks to Sandy hitting us on the East Coast…we had a solid 6 days of downpour, wind and gloomy skies with ice off and on! Alhamdullah today is the FIRST day since last Saturday that we have had intermittent sun. Unfortunately, I was not able to take my pictures ouside as it was still gray when I had my husband took them. Regardless, I think they ended up pretty clear and decent.
So first the pictures and then my review…
Now, onto the review…which is what i know you’ve all been waiting for…right 🙂
Armine is a very popular “Tesettur” clothing company in Turkey which is known for their very high quality items. They produce scarves (silk and non-silk), overgarments, shirts, skirts…basically everything commonly found in ones wardrobe. They cater to the woman who covers and wears hejab. They carry both traditional conservative styles and newer, trendier designs. Unlike some of the newer tesettur companies their garments are still produced with modesty in mind (like Tekbir, Zuhre & Setrms) whereas some of the newer companies produce garments which are cut to be formfitting and immodest (wow, thats a quandry!). Of course clothing fit doesn’t have much to do with silk scarves, but I just wanted to share that tidbit of information…
This silk scarf is the typical 36inch square which all Turkish silk scarves come in, I know Ive mentioned this before, but while it may seem small, I find the size is generally large enough for me to produce a modest and covering style. The edges are all hand-stitched (like all silk scarves from Turkey), personally I think the hand stitched edges add a nice touch and they add a bit more weight to the scarf so it doesn’t fly around quite as easily when its windy. The silk on this scarf is called ‘silk satin” which means it has a satiny, shiny gloss on the top side, smooth feel and matte look on the underside.
As far as styling goes, I have a pretty everyday square scarf style which I wear with all square scarves (as modeled above) and personally, I didn’t have any problems with forming and pinning this scarf. I know at first, working a silk scarf can be tricky, they can be finicky, but some brands (esp the better brands like Armine and Aker) and some types of silk are better than others. I found this one to be firm enough to form easily, it wasnt floppy and once I pinned it securely (1 at the top, 2 at the sides) it stayed put. Mash’Allah. I generally do not spritz my silk scarves with hairspray anymore to keep them well formed, although I know some Turkish women do, do this and it can help to keep them stiff if you prefer that.
Now, I did want to mention one thing…Ok, like 2 things…unlike the Aker scarves, Armine does not treat their scarves with a waterproofer, which means if you wear one of these scarves in a downpour, it will get wet. Aker scarves are made so the water just runs off of them. This may be an important matter to consider if you live in a very rainy part of the country and plan to wear your silk scarf all the time! Personally, this wouldn’t figure into my purchase very much as while we do get a decent amount of rain, its not enough that it would really actively curtail my clothing choices. Otherwise, Armine scarves are like Aker scarves…incredibly durable, great looking and very light-feeling on the head. Another perk to silk is because its natural and not a synthetic, it will allow more airflow to the scalp and be warm and insulating in winter but airy in summer. I know on the hottest summer days I prefer Turkish silk scarves to anything else (save a comfy French overhead jelbab) as the air flow is fantastic.
I also wanted to mention that these Turkish silk scarves (Armine and Aker for example) come in two types of silk weave…Satin and Twill. Both are 100% SILK but the weave how the fabric looks/feels/drapes. Satin is very smooth and glossy, as I mentioned above and is usually what people think of when they think of Turkish silk scarves, but there are also twill weave silk scarves which have a more matte look and have a texture when you touch them. They also tend to be stiffer and so can sustain a style with less effort than a satin silk one. I know some women prefer the silk for its smooth feel and gloss while others prefer the twill for the texture and easier wearing, It really just boils down to preferences and these companies choose the weave based on the design. Silk satin is more popular but silk twill is also widely worn and hence available on certain designs each season.
My own personal preference is silk satin but I’m not adverse to a silk twill either.
Overall, I do think these are well worth their price…yes they aren’t cheap, but they really do last and are much more scalp friendly than synthetics are and I know Modefa often has a clearance section where you can snap up a previous season Turkish silk scarf for almost half of its usual cost!
I wanted to show a few other silk scarves which I was eyeing over at Modefa and wanted to share…they are now carrying several Armine and Aker silk shawls/shaylahs…I find the Aker Swarovski shaylahs rather neat. kinda bling…but not overboard.
Jazakh’Allah’Khair for giving me the opportunity to review this scarf!