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Silk map scarf

During World War II, some Allied forces used military maps painted on silk squares as a lightweight, water-resistant, stronger alternative to paper maps. The maps showed minute details clearly and were easily hidden and transported. Now, travelers navigating unfamiliar, if friendly, streets can make use of silk maps that double as wearable art.

Microsilk, a Canadian company, has introduced colorful silk handkerchiefs and scarves imprinted with maps of dozens of countries, major cities in the United States and abroad, several subway systems and a number of French vineyard regions. The silk maps are soft, washable and reasonably priced, and could be fun icebreakers.