Scarf Materials: A Guide to Scarf Fabrics

August 24, 2010 by Miscellaneous

Scarves come in many shapes, sizes and, importantly, fabrics. A scarf’s fabrication determines its texture, appearance, and weather-appropriateness, so you should always pay attention to fabric when you’re shopping for scarves.

Peruse the fabric descriptions below to determine the best type of scarf fabric for you and your lifestyle.


alpaca fabric swatch


Alpaca scarves are made from wool of the alpaca, a domesticated species of South American camelid. Alpaca fleece is a lustrous and silky natural fiber similar to sheep’s wool, but warmer and softer.

cashmere fabric swatch


This soft, luxurious fabric is made from the wool of the cashmere goat. It is light in weight and, when handled with care, becomes softer with time.

cotton fabric swatch


Classic and easy, cotton is staple for its ability to be laundered and its durability. It’s a cool fabric, perfect for summer wear.

jersey fabric swatch


This stretchy, soft cotton is breathable and light-weight. Jersey is an ideal pallet for beading, studding, sequins, and other embellishment.

linen fabric swatch


Promoted for its coolness, linen is often considered the most breathable fabric of the bunch. It is made from the fibers of the flax plant.

pashmina fabric swatch


Pashmina refers to a type of shawl or scarf made from the cashmere wool of the pashmina goat.

satin fabric swatch


Satin is a glossy, soft fabric most often made from silk or polyester. Satin comes in several forms or weaves, which may vary in shine, thickness, flexibility, and weight.

silk fabric swatch


Silk is a natural protein fiber obtained from the larvae cocoons of the mulberry silkworm. It can be shiny or matte in luster, and is especially delicate.

wool fabric swatch


Wool comes from the fleece of sheep and other animals. It’s very warm, durable, and with proper care should last you for years.

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  • Reply Juliana November 25, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    I have a sensitive skin. I’m looking for a warm and thick scarf that won’t make me itch. Do you have any advice to that?

  • Reply Shirley August 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I have always used a very lightweight scarf on my hair at night. Very thin soft an use to be very popular 50 years ago. I use to find it in stores like Pennies an dress shops . I would love to find them to wear around my hair for sleep ..

  • Reply Betty B. Permenter June 25, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Everything is familiar to me except alpaca.. I really don’t know what that is. Thanks for sharing this.. Very informative.

  • Reply women's scarves silk cotton in australia May 5, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Your article is very informative. It’s a welcome change from other supposed informational content. Your points are unique and original in my opinion. I agree with many of your points.

  • Reply Aubrey January 24, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I’ve always love the cotton kind of scarf! Scarf comes with different fabrics, thanks for the guide! This would be helpful to those who doesn’t know about it!

  • Reply Alicia Bell January 21, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I would like to make a 100% wool scarf out of fabric, not yarn. What would be a nice wool with a nice drape, not stiff? Where could I buy the fabric? I’ve looked every where, I see so much felted wool, but that’s not what I want. Would wool suiting be a good choice? Something very, vary warm but soft. Thank you.

  • Reply Faye October 9, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Hi, would like to ask what material will you recommend for making scarf and beanie? Also, what is the difference between Merino wool and normal wool? Are those materials with 5% cashmere warmer than other materials?

    • Reply Scarves Dot Net October 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Hi! For scarves we personally like using cashmere yarn, just because it’s softer and lighter. For beanies, cashmere works great, but so does acrylic yarn or even merino wool yarn, depending on how cold it will get. Merino wool vs. regular wool is simply referring to what breed of sheep the material comes from. Cashmere (from goats) can be up to eight times warmer than sheep wool, so there is definitely a difference. However, with only 5% cashmere, the difference is probably small, depending on what the other materials are (other types of wool vs. acrylic or polyester). We will be posting an article about the different types of wool soon, so visit us again to learn more!

      • Reply Faye October 9, 2014 at 11:17 am

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply! If the knitting material is 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere, will it still be warm as compared to 100% wool and/or 100% acrylic? Thank you!

        • Reply Scarves Dot Net October 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm

          A knitting material with a mixture of wool and silk will definitely be warmer than 100% acrylic or 100% wool. The silk would also add a nice shine to the end product and helps keep the original shape. It’s definitely a great insulator. Another material you can incorporate if you’re looking for maximum warmth is alpaca fiber. 100% Alpaca yarn can be expensive, but you can find great prices on blended yarns made with 60% merino wool, 20% alpaca, and 20% silk (%’s are an example. There are many different blend levels to choose from). All this talk about knitting and wool is making us want to start making things!! :)

          • Faye October 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm

            That’s interesting to know!!! Thank you so much for your advice!!! :):)

  • Reply Scieska September 16, 2014 at 2:12 am

    I never knew scarves come in so many different fabrics!! Which do you recommend for head wraps??

    • Reply admin September 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      We recommend linen, cotton, and silk for head wraps. They are the most breathable fabrics and the softest! Plus, they can easily be styled to be a headband style or to cover the head without too much bulky fabric. :)

  • Reply Jane Fox December 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I want to make scarves with bails and beads, however I am unsure what kind of material I need for them. They are long and have tassels on the ends with small beads. The bails and beads are quite large.

  • Reply margie Blasko January 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    i was making a scarf that has a material that looks like a ribbon. It is 1 1/2 inches wide. The material is solid 1inch and on the top their is opening on the material 1/4 of inch breaks on the top. You make the scarf with a little peg board which you keep looping over. you go back and forth . I can not seem to find the fabric. I hope I descripe it okay. Please help…

    • Reply admin January 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Hi Margie! We’re a little unsure as to what scarf material you are currently using, but it might be helpful to take the material to JoAnn’s or Michaels nearest you and seeing if they can help you identify! That’s what we would do :)

  • Reply Susan December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Does anyone have any suggestions on a scarf that is non woven and would be kind of Velcro resistant?

    • Reply admin December 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Susan! Cotton, polyester, or fiber material scarves would work the best probably (knit and more delicate materials would snag with Velcro). Take a look at our cotton scarves, we think these might work!

  • Reply Rita Migliiore November 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    where can i find jersey scarves?

    • Reply admin November 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Rita! You can find jersey material scarves here:

  • Reply jilbab June 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    its info about scarves fabric really help me to chove right scarves.excellent work

  • Reply Mary Bearden January 26, 2011 at 4:08 am

    I was unaware that there are so many fabrics to make scarves. Thanks for letting me know there are differences.

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