Originally Posted by Madder King
The silk expert that I refer to is an ex girlfriend. I met up with her recently to discuss this specific issue over a quick coffee. She has a PhD in textiles specialising in silk. In addition, she has over 10 years experience in the field of silk printing and design. She currently works as a silk design consultant for a famous english brand. She handled my silk tie and picked up on things that I had not noticed.
First, there was slight (not very noticeable) colour disparity in the length of the silk. The tone of red is not even throughout. This is indicative of the end of a roll.
Secondly, if it were hand blocked, there would be many imperfections readily identifiable in the design and printing of the paisley - This is part of the old world charm of hand blocked silk. There would also be colour spill over. The printing is just to neat and precise for it to be hand blocked. The white marks around the paisley is indicative of the incorrect alignment and pressure being applied during the hand screen printing process.
Third, the tie is a seven fold in just two pieces of silk. This means that the construction of the tie is made with a lot of silk. However, she pointed out that the silk does not contain any registration marks whatsoever. This is where the wooden block pins penetrate the silk to keep pattern alignment. She searched much to the amusement of other diners.
Fourth, she pointed out that the dyes used in the silk are colour fast and modern. The blue dye used in the paisley is a dead give away. Madder dye's used in the 1950's were polar opposite to the ones used today. They looked very different. They had a certain natural fuzzy glow and warmth and looked very organic.
Fifth, real english ancient madder is unmistakable. It has a very dusty appearance - as if someone left it in the attic for 50 years and it is covered in dust. She pointed out that my modern PC english screen printed madder has no dustiness whatsoever. Modern madder is not real ancient madder - it is a modern day compromise.
Sixth, the grade of silk used in my tie is very different and cleaner to what was available in the 1950's. Modern silk is boiled to remove residue at very high pressure. The sophisticated equipment used to achieve this cleaner appearance and feel was not available in the 50's.
She has no reason to mislead me and I trust her professional and qualified judgment. I just want to add that the tie is very well made. The 7 fold construction is beautiful. However, the silk is a modern screen printed madder and not vintage 1950's silk. I paid a huge premium for what I thought was 1950s vintage. Yes, I am upset because I wanted something extremely rare and commissioned the seven fold tie because I was told the silk was from the 1950's. Had I known that it is a modern screen printed madder I would have only commissioned a three fold tie.