Friday, May 27, 2011

Shopping for Scarves

 Day 6 :: Scarves Week

today is all about where to find vintage scarves...
 vintage scarves are hot-ticket items on eBay, Etsy, & in vintage stores around the world

Sheila Leiter sells vintage scarves (among other vintage goodies) at 2 different vintage stores in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. i bought an orange & brown scarf for her awhile back, the scarf ended up being published in a book, so i thought it would be fun to share that news with Sheila & we've emailed back & forth a few times. Sheila was so kind as to agree to answer some questions to help us in our vintage scarf shopping... enjoy !
 Q: It says on your website: "Filled with purchases from flea markets, estates and antique shops throughout the U.S. and Europe" which sounds very exciting, so please share with us, where do you travel to (what states & countries) & how much time to you spend traveling?

A: Travel is a priority in my life and getting to shop vintage everywhere I go allows me to experience an added adventure in each town or city!   I probably travel 2 months out of the year yet shop probably 2 days of every week.    I have brought back vintage, antiques & fabrics from  the flea markets & shops of Paris, the Netherlands, Bratislava-Slovakia and direct from people selling their goods on the streets of St. Petersberg, Kiev & Barcelona.   In the U.S., my best finds have been in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, California plus New York is always a place to find something fabulous wandering the flea markets in Manhatten & Brooklyn.   But don't overlook the little towns of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.   They are within driving distance and make for a great road trip!   I fill my vehicle every time I go!
 Q: Do you have any tips for finding vintage scarves, where to go & what do you look for when you are hunting for them? How do you develop an eye for finding the vintage ones?

A: The best condition scarves usually are in estate sales & antique shops.   You can find them in thrift stores but watch for flaws.   Hold the scarf up to the light to see stains, holes, tears & water spots.  Keep your eye out for hand rolled edges, not stitched by machine.   You want to find the labels still intact for authenticity.  Buy 100% silk, cotton or rayon over polyester or blends.  Buy signed designer scarves plus travel scarves as collector items.   
 Q: What are your favorite types of vintage scarves?

A: My favorite scarves have bold designs and interesting, off-beat color combinations.  Vera scarves are some of the best!   The Vera scarves with the small ladybug next to the name are the oldest designs.  
 Q: Do you sell all the vintage scarves you find or do you keep some for yourself?

A: I sell 99% of the scarves I find.   I appreciate & love the colors and designs but tend towards layering & wrapping long scarves year round which allows me to pass on all of my scarves to my customers to enjoy ~
 Q: Do you have a "scarf story"?

A: My latest story involves finding a British Flag scarf from Lord Kitchner's with the original label still attached! Lord Kitchner's was a very popular place to shop on Carnaby St in Chelsea - London in the 60's.   Kings Road & Carnaby St. inspired so many trends of that time.   It would make a fabulous pillow with the label exposed!  It is still for sale in my space in Hopkins Antique Mall for any Anglophile!
 Q: Anything else you'd like to share?

A: I dry clean all my scarves.   Hand washing with a silk laundry soap is the only other method to use though some colors have a tendency to bleed.   When ironing your scarves, based on the fabric content, too high of a temperature can melt a hole in your scarf.  Play it safe and start on a lower setting.
thank you so much Sheila for letting us take a little tour to see all your lovely vintage scarves you have for sale (by the way, all the photos in this post were taken at her 2 locations)
AND also thank you for sharing your experience, wisdom & advice !

Sheila has a beautiful website called VINTAGE WEARS WARES, here are some of the name brands of vintage scarves she has for sale:
Frankie Welch
Perry Ellis
Robinson Golluber
Vera (by the way, here's a great resource: learn how to date your vintage Vera scarves)

be sure to check out Sheila's vintage scarves for sale at these 2 locations:

Hopkins Antique Mall
1008 Mainstreet
Hopkins, MN 55343

4414 Excelsior Blvd
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

If you are looking for something special, have out-of-season prop requests or have goods to sell, please contact via email

that ends Scarves Week, thanks so much for stopping by & have a great weekend !