Below is a description of the various types of scarfs for use on the piano or table. Various colors and fabrics are noted for specific locations.
THE PIANO AND TABLE SCARF.
The scarf, as its name indicates, is a long and comparatively narrow covering or adornment, that has grown in favor and almost entirely superseded the ordinary covers formerly in use. There is no rule as to their width, or length, or manner of adominga piece of furniture; some are laid across the width of the table, some down the length, with ends hanging: some are used diagonally. They are made variously of silk, cotton, and linen momie, of plush, velvet, felt, satin, pongee, and in fact of any textile of good color, weave and substance. Painting in oil, water-color, dyes, iridescent colors, and colored bronzes, silver and gold; embroidery, appliques in velvet, leather, satin, beads, plush and metals; drawn work, lace, and ribbon work are among the forms of scarf decoration.
For ordinary wear in bed-chambers and sitting-rooms, washable fabrics are mostly in use for table-scarf making, and for use in summer rooms, whether parlor, drawing-room or chamber. A great variety of embroidery stitches may be seen on one scarf, take. for example, a cream white linen exhibited by the Decorative Art Society. On the soft ground is embroidered in button-hole stitch in linen floss, a border of bold arabesques outlined in Kensington stitch in dark blue working cotton with very pleasant effect. Basket stitches of various kinds. lace stitches, feather, coral. and herringbone in linen floss figure in this border. On either side is a band of herringbone in linen floss, between lines of blue stitching. The finish of this lovely scarf is a deep antique lace enlivened by dark blue filling-in in various stitches. A second scarf is composed of a cream tinted linen on which is embroidered an all-over design of boldly outlined poppies. worked in dark blue cottons outlined by linen flosses, the foliage putlined and partially filled in, as the flowers are, in soft olive-greens. A deep, ravelled fringe, with a knotted heading, is the finish of this pretty garniture. Kensington crepe forms the ground of a third small table scarf on which are embroidered, in colored silks, outline disks irregularly grouped, some enclosed geometric ornament, others a spray of blossoms. A very handsome scarf also shown is composed of Italian toweljng, showing abird's-eye figure and a border charmingly conventionalised from the blue corn flower, which is shown worked in dark blues. the foliage and scrolls in olives. A handsome scarf in linen momie is effectively bordered by appliques from the washable “dimity cretonne," a new fabric showing very bold designs and soft colorings. Madras, in anotherinstance, is made to do duty very effectively by being laid over another material as a border. the flowers being worked to the ground by outline stitch in colored silks; in this case the web of the Madras is almost invisible, and the effect is like that of needle work and painting. Old-gold and pale blue narrow ribbons, run through drawn work at the ends of finer linen scrym, make a dainty scarf for a small polished table.
Piano scarfs for summer cottages may be charmingly made of dyed Bolton sheeting, which has a heavy body and soft surface, rendering it suitable for the purpose. On a width of dull blue Bolton sheeting may be applied a broad band of deep cream tinted velvet, couched to the sheeting by a heavy blue silk cord. A pomegranate conventional design is shown on the soft surface done in triple coaching of heavy blue and red silks with a slender gold cord. The finish of this scarf is composed of a deep fringe of heavy blue silk, with occasional threads of gold. This scarf is to hang across the top of a cottage piano and show the velvet border and fringe at the front of the iano. For the ordinary iano the scarf is laid engthwise and must have oth ends finished. For a grand piano the scarf is often thrown across the front part of the body, that is to say, behind the music rack. A band of velvet, embroidered
with some bars of song music in gold is a pretty decoration, applied to scarf of gray linen. Tassels and fringes are employed on these scarfs in ways to suit individual taste.
The richer table and piano scarfs employ all sorts of beautiful silken fabrics. Gold couching and appliques seem to be the leading favorites in decoration. They have this in their favor, so much is accomplished by comparatively little labor and the results are often exquisite. One of the most effective scarfs shown is composed of the deepest shade of 01d~gold silk Turcoman. On a broad band of deep old-gold velvet are scattered irregular groups of disks in golden bronze plush, on these are painted in cream white and gold great whitemagnolia blossoms. the large leaves in tawny browns and golds. The bottom of this scarf is simply finished by a very deep fringe of the ravelled Turcoman with a few gold threads twisted in effectively. A second scarf for a piano is somewhat similar, being composed of sagegreen silk Turcoman bordered by deep bands of sage velvet, on which are painted in bronzy browns and golds bold groups of autumnal oak leaves. Kensington painting decorates with fine effect a scarf of peacock-blue velvet. The design, conventional in character, shows a border with irregu‘ar network enclosing nasturtium-like flowers in orange, red-olive and silver-green bronzes. A handsome border of half diamond figures in red and olive bronzes encloses the main design on either side. A deep edging of Cluny lace painted in colored bronzes finishes this sumptuous scarf, lined with soft peach-blossom pink Chinese silk. A very striking table scarf is composed of silvergreen plush, showing a deep border of ivorywhite satin darned in heavy gold silk, throwing up an outlined design of flowers and leaves in gold couching. Another piano scarf for an upright piano, or suitable for a table, is composed of pale purple silk momie The decoration is formed by a broad band of white linen momie, the ground of which is darned all over with a sort of honeycomb stitch in pale crimson. Thrown up on the white momie is a beautifully arranged pomegranate design in gold and red outline and partially filled in with button-hole and basket stitches. The finishing fringe is composed of the raveliings of the purple momie and the pale, silver-green lining silk.
Perhaps one of the most unique scarfs is one composed of a lovely salmon colored domestic silk, on which is thrown up a bold horse-chestnut design in pink. The worker utilising this pink design for a border has outlined it in gold couching, and filled in portions of the great nut~forms with solid darning in deep, dull pinks and olivegreens. The ravelled pink and salmon silk makes a charming finish. Wheeled disks, rayed disks and solid disks in gold thread form the striking ornament of a deep garnet scarf in felt We must not omit lastly to mention a very delicate scarf of the palest peach-bloom plush lined with peach colored silk. Across the ends are applied Oriental arabesques in silver thread, pale lavender, green and pink silks. The fringe, composed of pale pink saddlers’ silk, is enlivened by silver threads, the whole forming a lovely piece of decoration for a drawing-room table.
Source: The Art of Interchange ©1885