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Evaluating Tie Quality

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After taking the knowledge gained from this forum, I went to the department store and looked at the ties they offered - Nautica, Jones New York, City of London, Calvin Klein, etc. All these ties range from $25-35. Amongst these ties, how can I tell the difference in quality from one company to another? A possible answer I have thought about is that these ties are too similar in quality and not clearly discernable. The "tie guy" said that the Jerry Garcia brand ties were one of the better hand-made ties they carried which surprised me.
post #2 of 16
I doubt the J. Garcia ties are hand-woven, they are $6.99 in many discounters. As for the ties you've mentioned, they are prints, and some are attractive. None are going to be particularly high quality compared to, say, a Kiton or Borrelli 7 fold, but they are still useful for many occasions. I have a variety of expensive ties and less expensive ones depending on what I am looking for, my collection ranges from $9.99 Zylos ties (monochromatic colors) to Kiton, Borrelli, Barbera, CF, Talbott, and Charvet 7 folds.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
I doubt the J. Garcia ties are hand-woven....
Actually, very very few ties, or more accurately the silk fabric, are "handwoven". That would imply that a weaver is moving the shuttle etc manually. Most silk fabrics are woven by machines. Only very very few specialty makers weave silk fabrics for ties by hand, and they are extremely expensive. I think you mean "handmade".
post #4 of 16
I am certainly no a tie expert, but for the ties you mention, my advice would be first to hold it by the tip of the thin blade and let it hang to the ground.  If it twists and doesn't hang straight in the air, then probably won't hang straight around your neck.   Then I'd to see how substantive and thick the lining is.  I find that I throw away most of my less expensive ties because they have gotten knocked out of shape because the lining didn't hold up. Finally, I'd knot the tie to see if the knot formed was OK.  If the color was to my liking, and it passed the tests above, then I would probably buy it. I have very cheap solid ties in blue and burgandy, and very expensive solid ties in blue and burgandy.  I wear the cheap ones on rainy days (and days when we have business lunch over ribs), and the expensive ones when the skys are clear. Bic
post #5 of 16
Great comment Bic. I would add that one inspects and feels the "hand" of the silk itself. It would be good to hold in one hand a tie made by one of the better manufacturers (of course you should feel ties of similar weaves), and in the other the tie that you are considering. Feel the density/thickness of both ties and compare.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Only very very few specialty makers weave silk fabrics for ties by hand, and they are extremely expensive. I think you mean "handmade".
How expensive? What types of ties, names? Just curious.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Quote:
(T4phage @ 17 Nov. 2004, 12:25) Only very very few specialty makers weave silk fabrics for ties by hand, and they are extremely expensive. I think you mean "handmade".
How expensive? What types of ties, names? Just curious.
I don't know what qualifies as handweaving, but from what I've read, back in the days before the invention of the Jacquard process for silk weaving, weavers often produced as little as one inch of fabric per day. If that's the process that T4phage is referring to, he probably should have said that ties made from such silk are EXTREMELY expensive.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
As for the ties you've mentioned, they are prints, and some are attractive.  None are going to be particularly high quality compared to, say, a Kiton or Borrelli 7 fold, but they are still useful for many occasions.
They are not necessarily prints. I've seen woven in at least several of those brands (e.g., Nautica). Almost all of the City of London ties I see are woven. Of course, they are also knock offs of higher end ties such as Ted Baker (which sometimes are knock offs of Richard James). When I bought a couple of Ted Baker ties a few months back (Marshall's, on clearance for $8 each ) there were City of London ties there with the exact same design. Now the weaving is certainly cheaper. A friend of mine bought one, which was a nice looking tie, but after just a couple of wearings it was already fraying badly at the point. I've never had a tie do that. As someone who over the past year has moved up substantially in tie quality, I will say that brands like Nautica make some very attractive ties. However, considering the discounts you can get ties at I don't see any reason to buy a tie that retails below $50 (about Brooks Brothers level) and not much reason to buy below $75 retail (Ted Baker, Faconnable level). I'd rather wear Drake's or RLPL.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a couple of ties that hold the knot throughout the day well, and other ties that lose the dimple and knot tightness in a couple of hours. I'm assuming that this has to do with the lining. What's the difference between better and worse linings? I don't think thickness automatically translates into better quality, correct? Secondly, how can I tell the difference between a machine-made and hand-made tie? If there is a slip stitch, does that equate hand stitching and not machine-made? Thanks for the feedback so far. It's been very helpful.
post #10 of 16
I would think the texture of the silk itself would determine whether or not the tie holds its knot tightly. Silks woven in somewhat of a "harder" finish would probably create enough friction to prevent the knot from gradually unraveling, compared to silks finished in a more satiny, buttery-smooth weave.
post #11 of 16
Here is an example of how they used to do it. I guess handlooming is waaaaay too expensive now but back in the day...
post #12 of 16
Look at that hand-rolled edge. I wonder of that is a seven fold from back in the day??
post #13 of 16
What does 'hand-rolled edge' refer to on the picture. I'm having trobule seeing this.
post #14 of 16
Look at the skinny end, below the label. There is no tipping there, you can see the back of the silk, and the tip is hemmed/stitched by hand.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Look at the skinny end, below the label. There is no tipping there, you can see the back of the silk, and the tip is hemmed/stitched by hand.
I get the part about no tipping, otherwise the back of the tie would be that black lining you see on other ties. Still, not sure how you know the tip is 'stiched by hand'. Maybe, its too late, but I cannot see if the stiching is either by hand or by machine. Or, is it the fact that there is no stitching that tells you that it must have been stiched by hand? Thanks.
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