December 7, 2017
By Noelani Piters
HOW TO SPOT A REAL BURBERRY SCARFSHOP BURBERRY
A certain buzz lit up the internet in late October when Burberry announced that Christopher Bailey would soon be stepping down as Creative Director. And while we’re looking forward to what the house’s new, as-yet-unnamed designer will envision for the English heritage brand, we can’t get our minds off what Bailey produced for the Spring 2018 runways — and, more specifically, how the signature house check made a comeback. The pattern resurfaced on everything from anoraks and trousers to turtlenecks and hats, with every piece feeling fresher than ever.
According to fashion legend, the check was first used in 1924 exclusively for the coveted trench coat’s lining. It was not until 1967, when the Paris store’s manager turned one inside out to spruce up a display window, that the famous check made its actual debut. The story goes that after customers became enamored with the pattern, Burberry began producing umbrellas featuring the check. One thing led to another, and soon the iconic Burberry scarf was born.
With temperatures dropping and the classic check already dancing in our heads, we thought it was time to log the winter staple in our authenticity book. Read on for Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger’s advice on spotting the real deal.
The first Burberry scarves were produced only in cashmere, but over the years the house has created scarves in wool, silk and other assorted fibers. “The hand will always give it away,” notes Wetzbarger. “One should be familiar with the fine quality of Burberry’s scarves. Feel the cashmere; not only should it be soft and fuzzy, but the lanolin should be felted and buttery.” The brand’s classic cashmere scarves will have a bit of weight to them, so beware of any inferior materials that feel thin or suspiciously light.
Many Burberry scarves are woven on traditional Scottish looms and should be expertly-finished. “If any scarves are finished with serging, that’s a tell-tale sign it’s not authentic,” explains Graham. “And in terms of the fringe, it should be twisted and self-finishing. If any of the fringe is unraveling, it may not be a genuine Burberry scarf.”
Burberry tags — if not removed by previous owners or missing due to wear — should be affixed by fine, even stitches. “When we see a tag attached with monofilaments, fishing line or invisible thread, it’s always a red flag,” says Wetzbarger. “Traditionally, if the scarf has a navy blue tag, there should be navy thread attaching the label to the scarf.”
If a scarf still has its brand tag attached, there are a number of key things to look out for. “Lambswool scarves will likely have a navy blue rectangular tag with a shiny finish sewn one inch offset from the bottom corner,” notes Wetzbarger. “These tags will likely read ‘Burberry London,’ and include the fiber content and country of origin.” Many scarves will have a cream-colored or off-white tag instead of the traditional navy blue, depending on when and where it was made.
The majority of Burberry’s scarves are produced in England and Scotland, but if you purchase scarves from a Burberry outlet or another country, they may be manufactured in places such as Turkey and China. For a period of time, Burberry included a white tag beneath the navy brand tag with more information that was designed to be removed after purchase, so some tags may not include a country of origin.
If you spot a tag in another language, there’s no need to panic at first glance. “Many countries require fiber content and care instructions in their national languages, so sometimes manufacturers will include this information in a language other than English,” says Wetzbarger.
Burberry scarves come in many different dimensions, fabrication types and colorways, so while the standard camel house check will be accented with black and red, riffs on the traditional scheme abound. Whether you’ve got the traditional house check, the Nova check or another variation, however, the pattern will always be the same.
“The trademarked Burberry check is a plaid traditionally consisting of three black evenly-spaced stripes intersecting at a 90-degree angle,” states Wetzbarger. “There are two rows of horizontal stripes and two rows of vertical, with a perfect square of negative space between them and a red accent stripe.” Counterfeits often attempt to emulate the check, so if you spot any scarves with four black stripes or two red accent stripes, for example, chances are it’s not genuine.
Prep for winter and shop our collection of classic, authentic Burberry scarves.
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