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Silk Scarves at New York Wholesale Prices

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 11/7/2001 - www.Littleviews.com ]

Silk Velvet Scarf

>>  This past Tuesday, I arrived 45 minutes early for a 7 PM dinner at the New Yorker Hotel's Tick Tock Diner on 34th and 8th. As I'm very familiar with the area (it's by Madison Square Garden and Penn Station), I decided to kill time by exploring a nearby, off-beat block.

The shops on 35th Street between 7th and 8th are mainly used by clothing wholesalers. These stores tend to be low key and are usually identified by painted signs, very unlike the glitzy signs you'll find along 34th Street.

When closed for the evening, heavy metal gates or gray, corrugated-metal garage doors are pulled down over storefronts in this area, covering windows, signs and addresses. In the early evening, then, this street becomes a contrast between dark panels and bright, showcase windows in the few stores that remain open.

By the time I arrived, many shops were closing, leaving me to think that I missed all the wholesale action. Fortunately for me, in the middle of the block, a Chinese import house was still open, offering an extensive collection of high-quality, hand-crafted silk scarves and shawls.

The shop, J&X International, is managed by Tracy Shen, who'll encourage you (female or male) to try on everything. All of her goods are at least 50% lower than in classy boutiques and best, she offers additional discounts for multiple purchases. (Good deal? Well, I left with four.)

Silk Valvet on Sheer SilkSilk velvet (top picture) is very soft. It is nothing like acrylic, party-dress velvet sold in department stores like Kohls, which scratch the skin when rubbed against the grain.

Real velvet feels like a light-weight fur pelt. When draped, its shades deepen, causing striations of rich colors and dark folds. To help you see the pattern in the top photo, I significantly lightened the image. When this scarf is draped around my neck, however, it looks like the darker portions of this picture.

Velvet is woven into shear material, similar to hosiery. Pictured in the second photo is sculpted velvet, which combines velvet fur and shear silk. Not all the velvet scarves are this transparent, but many have transparent sections, making them very interesting when draped over bare skin.

Kimono Silk Scarf with Hand Knotted FringeNotice the hem in the second picture. It is perfectly and uniformly hand rolled, a mark of high quality. This hand-edging contributes to perfect draping. In contrast, poorly made or machine finished scarves (silk or not) have bulky hems that often pucker. Poorly made scarves also look wavy when you hold them up. Quality scarves, like the ones you see here, are perfectly flat.

The third picture shows a traditional silk scarf made of fabric that could be used in royal kimonos or silk pajamas. This particular scarf is hand-finished on both sides, with hems hidden. Each group of long, silk fringe is crocheted to the edge, all of which lays flat. When you wear this type of scarf, you'll find that the fringe acts as a weight, causing the scarf to drape securely, without floating away in light breezes.

Tracy Shen, ManagerJ&X International is a perfect place to buy gifts! In addition to reasonably-priced, high quality scarves, they have silk blouses, silk play cloths and fine woolen shawls and hats. Ask for Tracy Shen (left) when you stop by and she'll be glad to tell you how her merchandise is made and, of course, will offer discounts for multiple purchases. Stock up!

Contact Information: They don't have a website, so you'll need to visit in person. Their 224 W. 35th Street store is open from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday. (646 674-1887). Their Staten Island location is at 19 Jillian Court. (718 816-0692)

Questions? Comments?
Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. First published on 11/7/2001. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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