Originally Posted by Galix
I am not an expert, but I think it is more or less easy to spot the difference between a low quality fabric and a good one. In my experience good ties tend to be thicker, and the pattern is woven instead of printed.
This has been the trend of late, and that's what buying high-end ties gets you: the latest fashions. But sooner or later, the fashions will change, because those high-end tiemakers want you to buy more of their high-end ties. If you look at Marshall's, there are plenty of low-rent tie makers churning out plump, fat ties (made in China, of course). So that means most of the high-end guys will soon be on to something else. Wovens have been enjoying a vogue, for example, but Hermes does a lot of prints ... and they're far from inexpensive.
Really, really cheap ties tend to look cheap. But there are plenty of mid-range ties that are perfectly respectable, quality wise. Personally, I'm not too fussed about the MSRP. If I like it, and it hangs well, and makes a nice knot, I'll buy it. I've found attractive silk knits and wool ties, in particular, can often be had inexpensively.
In sussing out tie quality, consider the feel of the silk, the knot and how the tie hangs and dimples. Hand folded edges will have a nice soft roll to them, while cheaper ties usually have edges pressed flat by machine. A nice tie will have a little life to it, while a bad one will hang limp like a dead fish. You might also consider the country of origin -- there's no reason a Chinese-made tie can't be perfectly presentable, but the additional cost of manufacturing in the U.S. (for example) does help warrant the price.