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Design, Tech & Sustainability – Behind the Scenes of Our Silk-Blend Satin Underscarves
Mar 23, 2021
Dilshad Ali
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Haute Hijab's Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf
Dilshad Ali
A good underscarf for any hijab-wearing woman is worth its weight in gold. It has to stretch the right amount, fit comfortably and correctly, contain your hair nicely and hopefully not slip as the day wears on. What often gets sacrificed, though, in prioritizing these needs, is what is actually good and protective for our hair – especially if you have natural hair.
We thought long and hard and about all this in developing our Ultimate Underscarves collection three years ago, conducting extensive research about the variety of head and face shapes we all have, where our ears lie on our head, and the different hair volume, weight and length. We looked at what was available to buy in the marketplace and what were the needs of women in our communities.
All this led to the creation of our innovative Classic, Criss-Cross and Barely There Underscarves, which you have worn and loved for years and are receiving their own upgrade next week! However, what became very clear soon after we launched our Ultimate Underscarves collection was that one particular type, which needed its own amount of technical and design research, was missing.
But, not anymore!
We are so happy to bring you our new [Silk-Blend] Satin-Lined Underscarves in Black and Mink as part of our next generation of Ultimate Underscarves. This underscarf, made of our incredible Bamboo Jersey on the outside and lined with a silk-blend satin on the inside, was created to address the needs of women with natural hair as well as those with sensitive hairlines, delicate/textured hair and hair that easily falls out. Frankly, it’s a great underscarf for anyone!
The satin-lined underscarf in Black.
Our Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf is backed by product research and testing as well as making sure the fabrics we use are:
1. Breathable
2. Stretchy
3. Protective of natural hair to reduce breakage
4. Helps retain hair's natural moisture
5. More sustainable
How can an underscarf do all this? Let’s go behind the scenes into the technology and science of it all!
It’s All About the Weave and Fabric
So what makes satin a better fabric for natural and textured hair? Well, it’s important to first note that satin is actually the weave of the fabric, which makes for a smooth, silky-like surface, and that reduces friction. Less friction is gentler on hair. This is why it’s such a great lining for an underscarf, says HH’s Associate Production Director Lily Steele. But, the actual satin material is a different story, Lily says.
“Silk is great for your skin and hair. It’s more of a natural fiber. It’s incredibly smooth and more importantly, breathable. But, it’s not the most washable (meaning it can get damaged from multiple washings),” Lily says. “Silk is also very moisture absorbent, and that isn’t good for natural hair.” So, the team decided that a satin weave made out of just silk wouldn't be the right blend.
In wanting to find a more sustainable material that would have that satin weave and smooth finish, the HH product team looked at many options, including fabric made out of orange peels and fabric made out of rose petals. What the team settled on was a fabric made out of an acetate-silk combination. Lily explains that acetate is a cellulosic fiber made of wood pulp that is processed to pull the cellulose out to make the fabric.
Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf
The sustainably processed silk-blend satin lining protects textured hair while keeping it moisturized as the ultra-breathable bamboo jersey exterior delivers cutting-edge anti-microbial and moisture wicking properties that will help keep your scalp fresh and cool all day. Hidden between the fabric is a silicone band that lines the front to keep your underscarf comfortably in place.
To get a little more into the details of what makes the lining of our Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf more eco-friendly, it’s important to understand that the cellulosic fiber of the acetate is produced in a “safe, closed-loop process where solvents [used to draw out the cellulose fibers] are recycled back into the system for reuse.” The acetate also is OEKO-TEX® 100 Product Class I certified, doesn’t use any hazardous chemicals listed on the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances list, and the manufacturing process to make it has been optimized to be low-impact with a “low tree-to-fiber carbon and water footprint.”
Acetate has a low moisture absorption, which is ideal for natural hair, and combining it with silk made it into an “incredibly smooth, really breathable fabric made in a more sustainable fashion.” With it’s satin-weave and finishing and rigorous product testing, it is an ideal liner for our Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf to protect and secure natural hair and all types of hair textures.
A Classic Design for an Innovative Product
The design of the Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf may seem familiar to you. "We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, because that design works well. So, we took our classic underscarf and turned that into our silk-blend satin-lined classic," says a senior technical design consultant/freelancer who works closely with Haute Hijab. The front of this underscarf is the same as the Ultimate Underscarf Classic, but what slightly changed is the ruching in the back.
“We changed the ruching to be made out of the same Bamboo Jersey material as the entire underscarf with the satin-weave lining,” says our technical designer. “And, what’s more exciting is that the ruching was adjusted to expand further to accommodate hair that may be longer, thicker and heavier, as well as thinner or shorter hair. There’s a lot of give in the ruching at the back!”
Another addition to the design of the satin-lined underscarf was a silicone take inserted inside the front seam for better stretch.
Customer testing also factored heavily into making sure our new Silk Blend Satin Underscarf was everything we need our underscarves to be. HH identified women to test the product through a questionnaire and gave them two weeks to wear it as long as they wanted. Women with a variety of hair textures and natural hair tested the satin-lined underscarf. HH also encouraged testers to wash and dry the underscarf (see here for customer care instructions).
The satin-lined underscarf in Mink.
“We’ve tried our best to really think about this product in the right way and the women who will benefit from it,” says Lily. “We wanted to make sure we focused on the right thing, and the silk-blend satin lining was very important to us, making sure we understood the fibers of the fabrics we wanted to use as well as the variety of hair care products used by women with natural hair, and how that will all work with this underscarf.”
Lily adds, “It’s important to understand our process and choices to understand the price point for this underscarf. If we wanted to lower costs, we would’ve gone with a polyester satin material, and it would’ve been a very different experience to wear this underscarf. It wouldn’t have been breathable, more sustainable or effectively protective of natural hair,” she says. “It was a tough decision to make, but we want the best for the women who wear these underscarves.”
We hope our Silk-Blend Satin Underscarf will become your favorite foundational piece in your hijab wardrobe!
Have you purchased one? Worn one? What are your thoughts? What other hijab products would you like us to bring to you? Share with us in the comments below!
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