Oasis' Liam Gallagher sporting a Tootal scarf.

Oasis’ Liam Gallagher

Favored by Brit pop legends like Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher, the silk scarf is a long-established ‘go to’ accessory for the most style-conscious British men. Worn by country gents and indie hipsters alike, this single item has crossed generations and genres. The biggest name in traditional silk scarves is Tootal. Grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and let me introduce you.

Tootal’s History

Founded in Manchester in 1799 by Robert Gardner, a textile merchant, Tootal is now a well-established British brand, renowned for providing superior quality scarves, among other garments, to the traditional market since the 1920’s. The company works out of a stunning Victorian-era warehouse, which has been placed on Britain’s Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, in Manchester, England at 56 Oxford Street.

Tootal was commissioned by the British Army during the Second World War to produce clothing and scarves for soldiers in the Royal Air Force. This employment set Tootal’s roots firmly in the tradition of British menswear design and, after the war, they enjoyed continued success. Buoyed by the fierce patriotism of the British public, Tootal mainly supplied garments to the working classes.

While the early-20th century was great for Tootal’s success, the 50’s and 60’s saw them rise to new heights. The company became a truly iconic British heritage brand when Mod culture swept across the UK. With their Parker coats and scooters, the Mod revolution was one of the biggest movements in British fashion history and is still referred to today in film and books as an iconic part of British culture. And no self-respecting Mod would be seen without Tootal’s essential piece of kit, the silk scarf.
Vintage print advertisements for Tootal brand men's scarves

Tootal’s Future

Following their huge success, Tootal took a quieter place in the British men’s fashion world. But a revival is underway, and Tootal scarves have become a must-have accessory for autumn and winter 2013 and spring 2014. The owners of the Tootal brand have scoured the past, raiding their significant pattern archive of beautiful paisleys and bespoke patterns, but also worked on fresh designs for the modern man, producing a stunning new range of pure silk scarves.

Over the years, Tootal has also been synonymous with classic British ties and cravats. Using a splendid selection of silks and wools, Tootal is once again working on an exciting range of men’s accessories that they hope to launch very soon.

A model from Tootal's new scarf campaign.In addition to new designs and products, Tootal has recently collaborated with another classic Brit brand, Fred Perry, to produce two colors of polka dot scarves now available at fredperry.com.

Tootal will always maintain the traditions begun in 1799: luxurious materials and classic British geometric designs, like paisley and polka dots. Their latest selection of silk scarves really proves this with some stunningly sumptuous paisley prints and classic polka dots.

How To Wear A Tootal Scarf

Tootal scarves are lovely to wear, a real luxury men’s item. While initially cool to the skin, the high-quality silk quickly warms up to keep that autumnal chill at bay.

Craig, "ThatDapperChap," wearing a Tootal silk scarf with tie.The scarves are easy to wear. I throw mine on casually with jeans and a denim jacket, adding a touch of class to an otherwise dull outfit. I also like to tie one like I’d tie a traditional neck tie and wear it with an open collar shirt, either hanging down the front of the shirt or tucked inside. They can be hung loosely around the neck inside a fine sports coat, giving a flash of color and pattern at the opening, for sheer elegance. Another way to wear your Tootal scarf is to double it, pass it around your neck and loop it through as you would a woollen scarf.

With the range of colours and patterns available, Tootal has something to suit all tastes. This is one item that every self-respecting dapper chap or aspiring Mod should have in their sartorial armory this season.

Catering equally to the Mod, Vintage-freak, and the young dapper gent, Tootal are in it for the long run. They’re already planning SS14 and AW14 and now selling widely in the UK and Japan where they have a large following. Exciting plans are also afoot to open in North America and Europe as well. Things are definitely looking up once again for this British classic, and deservedly so.

British brand Tootal's new line of luxury men's silk scarves.

Some of the beautiful 100% silk scarves in the latest range of Tootal scarves retailing at £45.00 ($74)

Black polka dot silk men's scarf from Tootal's collaboration with Fred Perry.

Find Tootal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TootalOfficial
Instagram: @TootalScarves
Twitter: @TootalScarves


About the Author:

Born in the wrong era, Craig has always had a fascination with vintage wears, from the 20’s to the 50’s. His home is homage to the 1930’s, kept in keeping with the year it was made. Often found scouring vintage shops, fairs and online auctions, he has quite a collection of vintage clothing and combines this with modern and reproduction styles to create a distinctive look. His day job in the insurance industry doesn’t allow much creativity so you’ll find his outlet for his creative side here and on Instagram .


  1. john March 31, 2018 at 5:30 am - Reply

    years ago my dad gave me a yellow tootal scarf with paisley print. he bought it for my grandad before i was born. i just turned 49 this month so the scarf must be at least 50 years old. ive looked on the tootal website and cant find a one like it. does anyone know how much this scarf could be worth. not that i would sell it as it holds sentimel value to me

    thanks john

    • Charles-Philippe April 3, 2018 at 2:34 am - Reply

      Hi John,

      The value of Tootal scarves can greatly vary depending on the seller, the buyer and location. Therefore, it’s hard to associate a precise value with one.

      Among enthusiasts and collectors, Tootal scarves can reach up to £40-50, which is usually the case at specialist vintage shops or even online. However, with any vintage attire, you can find these much cheaper if you dig around. For instance, I once purchased a Tootal scarf for around £30 at a London vintage stall yet just a few months earlier, I managed to find a really nice Tootal Ascot for only £10.

      In any case, a wonderful gift from your father like this probably has far more sentimental value than money could ever buy so I’m sure you’ll cherish it whatever the financial worth!

      All the best,


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