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Is the whole use of the revelation a swift action, or just the hardening of the scarf?

From the metal revelation (emphasis mine):

Steel Scarf (Su): As a swift action, you can harden a scarf, sleeve, cloak, or other piece of your clothing into something as hard as steel that stretches out to be up to 30 feet long. You can then strike outward with it as if it were a weapon making a melee attack. For the purpose of this ability, you are proficient with this weapon. You can use the weapon to perform combat maneuvers. Make a melee attack roll against a creature within 30 feet; you may use Weapon Finesse with this attack. If you hit, the weapon deals 1d8 points of slashing damage + 1 point for every two oracle levels you possess. After this attack, the clothing returns to its normal length and hardness. You do not threaten an area with this weapon and cannot use it to make attacks of opportunity. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

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It implies that it will stay around until you use it to attack.

As a swift action, you can harden a scarf, sleeve, cloak, or other piece of your clothing into something as hard as steel that stretches out to be up to 30 feet long.

The swift action is its own sentence and separate from

You can then strike outward with it as if it were a weapon making a melee attack.

This sounds like you need to make an attack just as if it was a normal weapon.

So strictly by the rules I would say no the attack is not a swift action.

Since it stays around until you use it to attack I wonder if you could use it as a slide, ladder or bridge?

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A swift action to harden, and an attack action to make the attack.

The ability surely could have used some better wording here, and clarification is required because it could be read both ways. But remember that the Attack Action is a standard action in the combat rules.

This was clarified by one of the developers of Ultimate Magic:

It's a swift action to harden the scarf, a normal (standard) action to make an attack with it ("as if it were a weapon making a melee attack").

You can add your Str bonus to it just like any other 1H melee weapon.

  • Sean K Reynolds
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Given that the scarf returns to normal after use, it appears that using the swift action includes a single free attack.

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