First of all, welcome to the boards. I think that you will like it here. Â The amount of knowledge some of the many of the individuals on the board posess is mind boggling, and its all done in a gentlemanly manner, i.e. no attitudes. Finally... A topic I can comfortably discuss (although when the real heavyweights weigh in (if and when they do) i am sure I will see just how little i really know Â
OK...Now down to business... Seven Folds: The traditional and original ties were the seven folds... What that means is the tie maker takes a large square of silk and folds it a number of times (7) so that the tie when looked at is actually the same as the ties that most people wear however aside from the stitching whcich holds it together its 100% silk (folded into itself.) Â No lining inside the tie (which on a quality tie is usually 100% wool) , and no backing of a different material (the backing that you see in that litle diamond area from the back of the tip of the tie till where it folds on both ends of the tie). Â Due to the high cost of silks this practice was sort of dropped in favor a much smaller piece of silk and some wool lining to make ties as we know them today. Â These ties can be expensive. Â Robert Talbott has these priced in the 250 range I believe. Â (I have these as well (considerably cheaper), but this isnt a forum for selling your own merchandise here so I will hold off on posting my site :-) Â PM (private message me) if you would like to know more).
Â a better close up shot of the seven fold to see the raw fabric of the underside of the tie. Note the two seemingly different fabrics used in the tie which are in reality the face of the silk and the underside. The Five Fold or Four Fold is a play on the seven fold but its actually a lined tie as well. Â What happens though is that because it is in fact lined it has to be closed on both ends (the seven fold is not closed as its just turned in at the edges) and in my opinion the additional silks used with the lining make the tie bulky and a bit unweildy and doesnt allow for any knot thicker than the four in hand. Â Of course the Europeans who favor the thick knots and short ties might just disagree with me there. Â (Note the self tipping on the blue tie as opposed to the tie itself just turned in on the red seven fold) Â
Saddle stitching is simply a manner in which the tie is closed in the back with a stitch that goes in a straight line and might be visible up the back of the tie. Â Often its done in a different color than the tie so as to be visible and is considered in some ways more detailed. This is as opposed to the classic means of closing the two backs of the tie with an angled stitching which goes from the overlaping layer into the underlayer and angles up agan. Â (see both photos above) Slip Stitch: Â The slip stitch is a thread that you will find if you open slightly the ends of the tie. Â It looks like a loop and if you didnt know you would ask why the tie is not finished properly. Â The point is to be able to have the tie not be restricted in the stitching as this thread runs the whole length of the tie Â and thereby allow for pulling and tightening without ripping. Its a 1920's invention by a man named Langsdorf. Â Â Printed vs Wovens: Â there are two ways that one can get a design on a tie. Â Taking a large piece of silk and silk screening the design on, or when actually creating the silk, each thread of silk goes into the design of the silk so to create a Blue Flower you would use a blue thread and form the design as such. Â As you mentioned, many designers use printed silks for the simple reason of geting their signature prints on. Â It would be impossible to weave that design so prints are the ONLy way to go in that case. Â Other than that weaves are considered nicer than prints. Â One caveat however and that is a printed tie is usually smoother, and doesnt have many textures to it. Â A woven will usually have a texture to it and while being nicer in many ways also tends to snag and pull if snagged strongly enough. (An unfiled fingernail or even rough skin can do it). Self Tipping: Â Self tipping substitutes the material in the back of the tie area with the silk that the tie is made. Again, this is more an aesthetic issue than a function issue as the tipping only goes up about 6 inches of the tie in the wide end and 3-4 in the thin end and is considered a detail and nothing more. (similar to the saddle stitch.
The first is a self tipped tie, vs. the standard synthetic backed tie. The obvious purpose of any tipping at all is to keep the lining inside the tie and not allowing it to slip free. OK. Â All typed out here. Â If you need anything else or if I can help with anything email or PM me. JJF PS: Â For J's addendum below... here is a photo... I resisted showing the flip side which is using the label cause that would have been a wee bit too much of a plug for my own ties Â