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How To Tie
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America's leading provider of inspirational
silk neckties, offers a wide variety of unique
Christian theme ties. Whether it is a bold expression or subtle
statement of Christian faith, Eagles Wings has neckties to satisfy a broad
range of tastes and clothing styles.
View our Silk Neckties with the links on the left.
Adult Neck Ties are $21.95
Children's Neck Ties - $11.95
All Silk Neckties are Standard Length
Knot A Silk Necktie
There are several standard ways to knot a
silk necktie: The
(which dates back to the days of the coach in England, when the men on top of the coach
would knot their silk neckties in this manner to prevent them from flying in the wind
while they were driving); the
purportedly invented by the Duke of Windsor, though he later disclaimed the
invention; and the half-Windsor.
Though many men considered good dressers use the Windsor or
it has always struck me as giving too bulky an appearance. For the most part,
the majority of men simply do not look good wearing this knot, though there are a few
notable exceptions, particularly Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. In any case, the
only looks good when worn with a spread collar, which is how the Duke of Windsor originally wore it. My
preference remains for the standard
It is the smallest and most precise of knots, and it has been the
staple of the natural-shouldered, British-American style of dress in this
country and in England for the past fifty years.
But whether one chooses the
each should be tied so that there is a dimple or crease in the center of the tie just below the
knot. This forces the tie to billow and creates a fullness that is the
secret to its proper draping.
AND MAKING OF QUALITY SILK NECKTIES
By Alan Flusser
The history of silk neckties dates back a mere hundred years or so, for they
came into existence as the direct result of a war. In 1660, in celebration
of its hard-fought victory over Turkey, a crack regiment from Croatia
(then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), visited Paris. There, the soldiers
were presented as glorious heroes to Louis XIV, a monarch well known for his eye
toward personal adornment. It so happened that the officers of this regiment were
wearing brightly colored handkerchiefs fashioned
of silk around their necks. These neck cloths, which probably descended from the Romans,
were worn by orators to warm their vocal chords, struck the fancy of the king,
and he soon made them an insignia of royalty.
It wasn't long before this new style crossed the channel to England. Soon no gentleman
would have considered himself well-dressed without sporting some sort of cloth around his
neck, the more decorative, the better. At times,
the neckwear was worn so high that a man could not move his head without turning his whole body.
There were even reports of silk neckwear worn so thick that they stopped sword thrusts. The various styles knew no bounds, as
neckwear of tasseled strings, plaid scarves, tufts and bows of ribbon, lace, and embroidered linen all had their staunch
appearance. Nearly one hundred different knots were recognized, and as a certain M. Le Blanc, who instructed men in
the fine and sometimes complex art of tying a tie, noted, "The grossest insult that can be offered to a man, is to seize him by the
neckwear; in this place blood only can wash out the stain upon the honor of either party."
In this country, neckties were also an integral part of a man's wardrobe. However, until the time of the Civil War, most
neckties were imported from the
Europe. Gradually, though, the industry gained ground, to the point that at the beginning of the twentieth century,
American neckwear finally began to rival that of Europe, despite the fact that European fabrics were still being heavily imported.
In the 1960s, in the midst of the Peacock Revolution, there was a definite lapse in the inclination of men to wear
silk neckties, as a result of the rebellion against both tradition and the formality of dress. But by the mid-1970s, this trend had reversed itself to the point where now, in the 1980s, the sale of neckwear is probably as strong if not stronger than it has ever been.
How to account for the continued popularity of neckties? For years, fashion historians and sociologists predicted their demise--the one element of a man's attire with no obvious function.
Perhaps they are merely part of an inherited tradition. As long as world and business leaders continue to wear
neckties, the young executives will follow suit and silk neckties will remain a key to the boardroom. On the other hand, there does seem to be some aesthetic value in wearing a
necktie. In addition to covering the buttons of the shirt and giving emphasis to the verticality of a man's body (in much the same way that the buttons on a military uniform do), it adds a sense of luxury and richness, color and texture, to the
austerity of the dress shirt and business suit.
Perhaps no other item of a man's wardrobe has altered its shape so often as the
necktie. It seems that the first question fashion writers always ask is, "Will men's
silk neckties be wider or narrower this year?"
In the late 1960s and early 70s, neckties grew to five inches in width. At the time, the rationale was that these wide
neckties were in proportion to the wider jacket lapels and longer shirt collars. This was the correct approach, since these elements should always be in balance. But once these exaggerated proportions were discarded, fat
neck ties became another victim of fashion.
The proper width of a silk necktie, and one that will never be out of style, is 3 1/4 inches (2 3/4 to 3 1/2 inches are also acceptable). As long as the proportions of men's clothing remain true to a man's body shape, this width will set the proper balance.
Though many of the silk neckties sold today are cut in these widths, the section of the
silk necktie where the knot is made has remained thick--a hold over from the fat,
napkin like neck ties of the 1960s. This makes tying a small, elegant knot more difficult. Yet the relationship of a tie's knot to the shirt collar is an important consideration. If the relationship is proper,
the knot will never be so large that it spreads the collar or forces it open, nor will it be so small that it will become lost in the collar.
Standard silk neckties come in lengths anywhere from 52 to 58 inches long. Taller men, or those who use a
may require a longer necktie, which can be special-ordered. After being tied, the tips of the necktie should be long enough to reach the waistband of the trousers. (The ends of the
neck tie should either be equal, or the smaller one just a fraction shorter.)
After you've confirmed the appropriateness of a tie's shape, next feel the fabric. If it's made of silk and it feels rough to the touch, then the silk is of an inferior quality. Silk that is not supple is very much like hair that's been dyed too often. It's brittle and its ends will fray easily. If care hasn't been taken in the inspection of
neckties, you may find weave errors and puckers.
All fine silk neckties are cut on the bias, which means they have been cut across the fabric. This allows them to fall straight after the knot has been tied, without curling. A simple test consists of holding a
silk necktie across your hand. If it begins to twirl in the air, it was probably not cut on the bias and it should not be purchased.
Quality silk neckties want you to see everything: they have nothing to hide. Originally,
silk neckties were cut from a single large square of silk, which was then folded seven times in order to give the tie a rich fullness. Today the price of silk and the lack of skilled artisans prohibits this form of manufacture. Ties now derive their body and fullness by means of an additional inner lining.
Besides giving body to the silk necktie, the lining helps the tie hold its shape. The finest-quality
neckties today are lined with 100 percent wool and are generally made only in Europe. Most other quality
silk neckties use a wool mixture. The finer the necktie, the higher the wool content. You can actually check. Fine linings are marked with a series of gold bars which are visible if you open up the back of the tie. The more bars, the heavier the lining. Many people assume that a quality
silk necktie must be strong, as this would suggest that the silk is heavy and therefore expensive. In fact, in most cases it is simply the insertion of a heavier lining that gives the
neck tie this bulk. Be sure, then, that the bulk of the silk necktie that you're feeling is the silk outer fabric and not the lining.
After you've examined the lining, take a look at the tie just above the spot where the two sides come together to form an inverted V. In most quality ties, you will find a stitch joining the back flaps. This is called the bar tack, and it helps maintain the shape of the tie.
Now, if you can, open up the neck tie as far as possible and look for a
loose black thread. This thread is called the slip stitch and was invented
by a man named Jesse Langsdorf in the 1920s to give added resilience to the tie. The fact that the
silk necktie can move along this thread means that it won't rip when it's being wrapped tightly around your neck, and that it will, when removed, return to its original shape. Pull the slip stitch, and the tie should gather. If you can do this, you've found a quality, handmade silk necktie.
Finally, take the silk necktie in your hand and run your finger down its length. You should find three separate pieces of fabric stitched together, not two, as in most commercial
neckties. This construction is used to help the tie conform easily to the neck.
"Tell a man you like his
necktie, and you will see
his personality unfold like a
"A well-tied tie is the
first serious step in life"
- Oscar Wilde
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