Well, let’s admit that sometimes we find it hard to use the right word! We are not the only ones who are not clear to differentiate between them, especially when we include other names such as shawl, scarf, foulard, pashmina….

But don’t worry, because Hamzah is going to explain you the differences between one and the other so you can distinguish between one and the other.


It is usually made of silk or a light fabric. The most common is that it has drawings or printed patterns.

Its use is usually knotted around the neck or as a scarf for the head, as did Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco on many occasions.

Princess Grace Kelly with head scarf
Princess Grace Kelly with head scarf


The shawl is a silk or wool cloth, generally much longer than wide, which worn on the shoulders is used by women as a garment of warmth or adornment.

Its main difference with the shawl is that its dimensions are much larger and it can have rounded or hexagonal shapes.

It is also usually made with thicker fabrics to be used as a warm garment in between seasons, and it is very common that its ends are with bangs, giving it a more casual look.

Peasant girl with shawl on shoulders
Peasant girl with shawl on shoulders


The most common form of the echarpe is narrow and long. It is usually placed extended and resting on the shoulders with the ends falling in front, although it can also be knotted at the neck.

Depending on the fabric from which it is made, it can be used as a fashion accessory or as a warm garment if it is made with thicker fabrics.

It is made in a great variety of fabrics: velvet, gauze, wool, thread… and it is often decorated with bangs, tassels and embroidery at the ends.


Pashminas are textiles made from cashmere wool or woven blends with silk or other man-made fibers such as viscose.

The name comes from Pashmineh, formed from the Persian word pashm (wool). This wool comes from the changthangi or ‘Kashmir goat’ (in English, Pashmina goat), a breed of goat native to the high Himalayan regions. Kashmir wool has been used for thousands of years to make high quality shawls called pashminas.

Goat from which cashmere wool is derived
Goat from which cashmere wool is derived


The scarf, usually square and larger than the pocket square, is used as an accessory in men’s and women’s clothing. It is also called carré (square in French) since Hermès named the first printed silk model it manufactured in 1937.

Hermés Carré 1937 first design
Hermés Carré 1937


The skirt is a piece of cloth worn around the neck and shoulders, mainly for warmth, but also as an ornament. It is usually long and narrow, can be plain or patterned, light or thick, knitted, woven, crocheted or felted and of a wide variety of fiber types.

In recent years, maxi scarves have become very fashionable, with which you can twist and turn over your shoulders and even cover half your face. They are usually made with a large and wide knitted fabric, giving them a very chic touch.

In Hamzah, we have specialized in scarves and foulards with colorful prints, although we do not rule out adding other models in the near future.

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