Originally Posted by Manton
Roger: Drake does not, to my knowledge, weave or print silk. The silk is all sourced from various English silk makers. Ditto Marinella. Some companies like Hermes do make their own silks, but this is the exception rather than the rule in the tie world. Now, comissioning silk is another matter. That works much like suitings. Most of the renowned merchants work with spinners and weavers, to the extent of supplying a design and specifiying weight, ply, and weave, but they do not themselves make any cloth.
You are correct Drake does not make silk or weave fabric. With the exception of Hermes, a very few others, and ourselves tiemakers purchase all their silks from mills. Typically interlinings are purchased from mills in Italy if they are pure wool. England has recently faded from the wool interlining business. The US has been gone from the pure wool interlining business for a long time. The woven jacquard silks that Drakes purchases from Vanners are typically designed at the mill. Someone from the sales department will go to Drakes' offices in London and then the silk designs are approved. Vanners is part of a group of silk mills that previously was independent, and then a listed company, and now owned by management and a small group of investors. Naturally, Marinella has the final say on silks that are used in their ties. Other silks such as the classic prints (which Vanners does not make, they only make woven silks) typically go directly to Naples for approval. Roger,
There are a number of variables that go into high end tie making. Perhaps the most important is the level of time and hand craftmanship. I am certain that Drakes could make custom made / bespoke ties that are every bit the equal of the ones made in Naples by Marinella if they wanted to. In Italy it is common knowledge within the business that Marinella ties do come at different quality levels and price points. Edmorel,
The Marinella family are suberb at marketing. (And I admire them very much). Part of their marketing mix of course is their wonderful image and reputation. Which as you say may or may not be worth their retail price. However, maybe the best aspect of their business is that they use many, many designs, that are made in limited editions. The last two points are perhaps equal to, or greater factors contributing to their prices than their brand image is commonly thought to be. Again whether you are interested in paying for limited editions is a matter of personal choice.