An ongoing series of informational entries and fun facts about our products.

Accessorizing with Scarves

March 30, 2017

Oscar De La Renta once noted that "a woman makes an outfit her own with accessories." As an accessory item, a scarf can dramatically change the look and mood of your outfit by introducing complementary color and texture. It can easily add the "exclamation point" to your look, as Michael Kors observed. But once you've picked out your scarf, how are you going to tie it?

No one ever went wrong with a simple drape or wrap around the neck, or even a front tie. But those looks, while tried and true, can also seem boring and trite, especially when everyone you see is sporting the same look. Sometimes you want to experiment with an entirely new bold look by breaking free of tradition.

From unique bows to flattering head wraps, this article offers some fresh ideas:

Depending on its width, length, and material, your scarf can be folded, twisted, and tied to accessorize in a way that is distinctly you. Van Decker Vogue offers a range of sizes, fabrics, patterns, and colors. We provide you the raw materials; where you take them stylewise is up to you and limited only by your imagination.

How will you punctuate your look this season?

Rocking the Retro Head Scarf

May 5, 2017

Marilyn Monroe once said, "Sometimes, wearing a scarf and a polo coat and no makeup and with a certain attitude of walking, I go shopping or just look at people living." While venturing out incognito, Ms. Monroe no doubt often donned a head scarf to disguise her iconic platinum mane.

Most of us don't need to travel incognito, but we appreciate and often emulate Marilyn's quintessential 1950s style! Lucky for us, the retro look is back in fashion -- or maybe it never left. From updated horn-rimmed and Wayfarer frames to our favorite jeans, today's classics retain the genetic fashion code of their ancestors. 

The rapidly approaching summer season will be the perfect time to express your inner Marilyn Monroe or Bettie Page. Pull on your 1950s cigarette pants, sport your favorite horn-rimmed shades, and experiment with a head wrap.

To get started, check out Vintagious's YouTube video for some retro chic inspiration.  And if you want to further explore the turban-style wrap, The London Curls has published a great online tutorial. (The faux bun technique illustrated in this video is very cool.) And if that isn't enough, the Naturally Curly web site offers 45 Head Wrap styles to peruse.

Van Decker Vogue can show you a super easy turban trick featuring our best-selling light rayon infinity scarf, three simple wraps, a few easy twists, and a tuck. Our infinities are large enough to wrap around your shoulder as a shawl, pull through your arms as a bolero, or simply wear infinity style around your neck. As you discover its many uses as a fashion accessory, be sure to try wrapping it turban style. Or drape it loosely over your hair, don your favorite ankle pants, Keds, and Wayfarers and go full-on Marilyn!

Stop by our booth at the 3rd Annual Keyport Antiques and Artisan Festival on May 20 for a live demo of our rayon infinity scarves and other one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted items. See you soon!

Summer Hat Style

May 5, 2017

With the warm summer sunshine also come damaging UV rays. Sun protection in the form of light-weight straw hats is not only practical but fashionable as well.

Our hand-dyed silk sashes and scarves are the perfect addition to your summer straw sun hat. We will have a large selection of hand-dyed fabric items available in the Made in Monmouth tent at the Monmouth County Fair (NJ) on July 29, 3-11 PM.  

In addition to a wide variety of hand-dyed silk scarves, we will offer a small number of hats similar to the one shown in the photo, as well as indigo dyed rayon skirts and pareos, rayon infinity scarves, and our full line of leather jewelry.

2018 Summer will be here soon! Time to Update Your Tie Dye!

May 2018

The fashion industry continues to embrace tie dye. Vogue UK recently reported on high-end tie dye designs featured on catwalks by Ferragamo, Marco De Vincenzo, and Stella Jean during Milan Fashion Week. This is not your grandma's tie dye in glaring 1970s red, yellow, and turquoise shades. Rather, it is subtle and chic, and dances across the Pantone palette in the most sophisticated shades of purples, pinks, greens, browns, and blues. Vogue claims that the runway's latest incarnation of tie dye represents the industry's "latest shift towards wearing fashion that hints to the wholesome and handmade." Well, that is certainly something that we know a bit about!

To help you update your tie dye for Summer 2018, we have been  creating higher-end unique silk pieces in updated tie dye styles and fresh combinations of fashion colors -- at very reasonable prices.

Welcome the warm weather wrapped in luxurious hand-dyed scarves designed to add a pop of color without unwanted bulk. Our 100% Habotai silk infinity scarves, such as the one shown here, are 11 inches wide by 72 inches around. They are not only on-trend; they are priced so attractively that you can own several without breaking your budget. Come see them for yourself at upcoming events

The Holiday Gift Season Will Soon be Here

November-December 2018

Welcome the holiday season wrapped in unique and luxurious hand-dyed scarves, or gift a few to your nearest and dearest. Each piece is unique;  no two are identical because they are individually hand-dyed. For special holiday occasions, you can't go wrong with a hand-dyed cut velvet scarf in rich jewel tones (similar to the one shown to the left). If gifting, select a casual fiber-reactive light rayon infinity loop that can be worn multiple ways -- always versatile and much-appreciated. Or select 100% Habotai steam-set silk infinity scarves. Hand-crafted in brilliant colors, the silk infinity scarves look very high-end, but they are priced so attractively that you can gift quite a few -- and keep one for yourself -- without breaking your budget. Come see them at upcoming events

In the Midst of Winter Freeze....Think Spring!

March 2019

Unfortunately, this year's two-day Sherman Theater Winter CraftFest in Stroudsburg, PA, was limited to one day due to winter weather, the Governor's declaration of emergency, and a deep freeze. But in spite of the cold, people ventured out pre-storm on Saturday. It was wonderful to meet those of you who visited my booth. I truly hope that you enjoy the items that you purchased for years to come!

As we enter the often unpredictable winter season in the mountains, fewer live venues are scheduled, and those that are can be canceled up to the last minute due to Mother Nature's seasonal storms.

So while all of this winter white stuff descends upon us, I'm going to focus on developing new unique designs and color combinations for SPRING. In response to customer requests, I just ordered a new Devore satin pattern to play with, and more of the popular light and airy silk and cotton blend in 80" lengths as well as a light and airy infinity loop. These new items will be available for sale at the Emerald Lakes Spring Vendor and Craft Market on April 6. I'll also be offering new, unique hand-dyed designs on Etsy very soon!

Stay warm and safe!

Materials and Processes. . .

April 2019

I work in 

  • 100% silk, 
  • silk and rayon blends, 
  • silk and cotton blends, and 
  • 100% rayon. 

Different fabrics require their own types of dyes and processes.  On the one hand, rayon and cotton are "plant-based" fibers that color best with fiber reactive dyes which marry with the fabric through a chemical reaction brought about via a fairly strong solution of soda ash. On the other hand, silk is a "protein" based fiber requiring specific steam-set silk dyes to obtain bright, permanent color.

While I often use Fiber reactive dyes on silks and blends, I do so with great care and caution so that the fabric is not damaged by the caustic soda ash solution, which has the potential to destroy delicate protein fibers.  

On blends like the Devore satin shown to the left, I use both types of dye. The raised  cutouts are rayon, so the fabric first gets a relatively brief -- but highly pigmented -- bath in fiber-reactive orange and yellow dye and soda ash to create a gold tone. When that process completes, the piece is thoroughly rinsed to get the soda ash out of the silk, and left to air dry over night. On the next day, I apply a second process of steamed silk dye with the addition of alcohol (to make the dye "dance"). This creates the contrasting dark blue background. After steaming, the piece is rinsed and left to "cure" over night again. On the third day, I wash the piece in special dyer's detergent to remove loose dye and treat the piece to a final rinse in a special softener designed to restore the fabric's "hand." The final step of the process is to steam iron the fabric while it is damp.

And finally, after a lengthy three-day process, the piece is done, and hopefully someone will think it is as beautiful as I do and will want it for her very own!

Multiple processes are time consuming and labor intensive,  but the result is a stunning fabric accessory that cannot be found elsewhere -- and when the maker "gets it right," the result is very satisfying indeed!