September 01, 2015

The Art of the Hand Rolled Pocket Square

Rolled hem, rolled edge, or rollover stitch; no matter what you choose to call it, the neat finishing edge found on only the most luxurious and well-made pocket squares requires skilled artisans to carefully roll the silk hem into an immaculate rounded edge. The process produces a plump cushioned edge that in our opinion offers a finish that is far superior to a machine-sewn hem.

When you're choosing to buy hand-rolled pocket squares, you are buying a product that has a little bit of a unique feel to it as no two edges will be sewn exactly the same way. For us, it’s really important that we produce the most beautiful squares we can and therefore all our silk squares are hand rolled to provide an exquisite finish. 


The hand rolled hem from our Samson and Delilah Pocket Square

So why do we feel that the finish on hand rolled pocket squares is superior to those produced on a machine? A hand rolled silk square will drape and fold better than a machine-hemmed square’s because hand-sewn stitches are much more fluid than rigid machine stitches.

It is only possible to create the rolled appearance on the edging by using lightweight materials, such as silk and cotton, as they are flexible enough to be rolled into a cylinder. With advances in technology and the demand for mass-produced items there are specially designed sewing machine feet which will replicate the same appearance of hand rolled edges. However, as the material passes underneath presser feet it is flattened and left looking a little dull and lifeless in appearance.

To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with hand held needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.

Rolled hems can be hidden from the printed front side or visible, the latter of which is a trademark of French design house, Hermés, famed for its silk-screen printed scarves and pocket squares. These visible hems are appropriately titled ‘French rolled hems’, whilst rolled hems that are invisible are often referred to as ‘Italian rolled hems’. We have chosen to use the Italian rolled hems as we feel that it provides the best finish for our fine art squares. The colour of the thread we use to hold the hem in place always matches the colour of the border on the pocket square as the convention is that the visible thread is not seen as a feature of the design. 


We use Italian rolled hems

As is the purpose with all sewn hems, the hand rolled hem will stop the edge of the luxury pocket square from fraying, especially in areas prone to do so, particularly the corners. A wonderful feature that can often be overlooked in pocket squares is mitered corners, corners that meet perfectly at a 45-degree angle creating a sleek professional finish. With machined hems, sewing a square corner is the easier and simplest solution, however with hand rolling mitered corners are easier to achieve. Mitered corners are preferred as they are less bulky as the excessive fabric is trimmed away. They are also tougher and more resistant to wear and tear than a standard square corner.

The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each pocket square its own unique character, finish and feel. 

Click here to view our range of Hand Rolled Pocket Squares.