Wondering how to spot a fake Hermes scarf? We asked the experts!
By Chere Di Boscio
We’ve all become a bit spoiled these days.
Digital technology has allowed for the mass-printing of intricate designs that were once the reserve of highly trained artisans. Prints that used to be silk screened by hand are now printed by computers, and only the well trained eye can tell the difference. Though this is certainly a more democratic approach to apparel, it seems to be a bit of a shame to be losing the art of silk screening.
Some companies, such as Hermès, insist on maintaining the ancient technique for their scarves. Each silk square boasts hand finished edges, double ply Mulberry silk and dozens of colours applied by hand.
After an artwork has been designed, pencils, paintbrushes, pens, sponges and even toothbrushes are all used by master artisans to break the picture down into its composite colours, then reproducing each layer on its own acetate sheet.
It can take up to 1700 hours to complete one gorgeous scarf. That’s why such scarves are so expensive. But the precision drawn, vividly colourful result is worth it. Even worn vintage pieces are still very much in demand, and no wonder! Each could be considered a reproduced piece of art much in the same way etchings or photographs are. And as with fine art, the value of some prints only increases with age.
Sadly, because of their value, there is another quality Hermès scarves share with art: there are many Hermès fakes to watch out for. Here’s what you need to know.
How to spot a fake Hermès scarf
According to Paris-based vintage Chanel and Hermès expert Catherine B, there are six key signs of a fake Hermes scarf. They are:
One of the first tips for how to spot a fake Hermès scarf is found on the tag. A fabric tag written in any other language besides French and English will indicate a fake. All Hermès scarves are made in France, but often carry a bilingual tag. English is the only other language you may see.
A real, original Hermès scarf will have a hand rolled hem, rolling towards the front (the more vibrant side of the print). The thread for the hem should perfectly match the main colour of the scarf.
3. Signatures (maybe)
Whilst some vintage scarves may not carry it, most (but not all) scarves today (and from the 80s onwards) will have the artist’s signature somewhere in the print.
Another way to spot a fake Hermès scarf is related to its size. There are three sizes of Hermes scarves: 90 cm x 90 cm, 35” x by 35”, 60 x 60cm 24″ x 24″, and 40cm x 40cm 17″ x 17″. That is it! Anything outside this range is likely to be fake.
One of the easiest way to spot an authentic Hermes scarf is the incorporation of Jacquard silk. This is a material that’s slightly 3D compared to the rest of the scarf. This is difficult to replicate; no fake scarf will use Jacquard silk.
There should be a copyright ©HERMES mark with the “C” in a circle with the word Hermès–NOT “Hermes-Paris’. Again the second ‘e’ must have a French accent mark. The copyright is usually located on the upper left hand corner of the scarf.
However, this is an exception to this rule.
Hermès launched its first scarf in 1937, Jeu des Omnibus et Dames Blanches. The original issue wasn’t signed, and wasn’t copyrighted. Nor did it have a care tag. All that changed over the years. Today, the scarves come with a care tag as well as a copyright mark, as mentioned above.
Where to buy authentic vintage Hermès scarves
Knowing where to buy authentic vintage Hermès scarves can assure you that you’re not buying a fake.
There are a few options.
- 1stDibs also offers a wide selection of not only Hermès scarves, but also shawls, bags and much more. Prices start at around $250, too. Bargain!
- Catherine B is a world-leading expert in vintage Hermes and Chanel items.
- Finally, the Real Real is a respected online site that checks for the authenticity of all their designer items. Here, you’ll find stunning scarves for around half their retail value.
Do you have any further tips on how to spot a fake Hermès scarf? Let us know in the comments, below!