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My Take on Drake's Silk Knit Ties

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
After trying a bit of a Dr Frankenstein in another thread, I thought it might be better to start an entirely new thread. Here goes, gang. I bit the bullet and bought just one Drake's silk knit tie, a plain navy one from their on-line store. This was before the ex-VAT days, so it cost me dearly. I'd like to thank Will for getting rid of the pesky British tax man. I already pay enough tax in this part of the commonwealth! Anyway, on with the show. The navy was nice enough to prompt me to buy another two ties, ex-VAT. This is the only way I could justify the splurge. I now have a plain navy, plain black (I didn't and don't really expect much use out of this one, but I thought 'funerals without being boring') and a navy with white dots (my favourite for many reasons). Okie dokie, now for the comparison: all three ties are great, but some are greater than others. Thank you George Orwell. Dots The knit with dots is the best. As you can see in the photographs below, it has a finer knit than the plain ties, but it is just as 'crunchy' as the others. Personally, I find the crunch and 'mega' knit on the plain ties too much. I'm not sure why Drake's chose to do this with their dotted ties; it could just be my one example. Who knows? Others The other two (plain) navy and black ties are great. They are very 'crunchy' and have a robust knit compared with the dotted tie. Oddities Tags Right, this is where things get English fast. The three tags on the back are different. I like the 'Drake's' one best (just one example on my first tie, the plain navy); the others are simply 'Drakes' and look a bit boring to me. But, to the non-tie geek, this is a non-event. Length All right, all the three ties are different lengths (and widths). They were all ordered from the on-line store, which put up the sizes after I asked about them. I put this down to their being knitted ties and not much else. These differences depend where one starts to measure: for example, the silk tape on all three ties differs in size. In terms of absolute length (from end to end) the plain black is about the longest at 55 inches, the navy 54 inches, and the navy with dots about 53 inches. However, measuring from where the silk tape ends and the 'blade' of the tie begins, they're all about the same length. Width This is what makes me think the dotted tie is a different beast altogether. It is slightly shorter than the other ties; it is slightly thinner than the other ties (only by about 0.5cm); it has a softer 'hand' than the other ties'; it has a 'better' and different knit from the other ties. Again, these differences (beyond the different type of knit) might be put down to small-scale manufacturing (in England). Bespoke Well, I thought I'd give it a shot and ask the ladies at Drake's whether they offered bespoke knit ties. Wait, wait, wait, I'm not a misogynist; so far, all my emails from Drake's have been from women. Anyway, I was excited to hear they did. Both the solid and the dotted kind. Whether this applies to the different 'knits' I have outlined above is another question, the answer to which I haven't yet got. The good I have a colour chart, from which anyone can pick the ground and dot colours. The price is no more than the on-line store. This is possibly bad, depending on whether you mind paying about 60 pounds (ex-VAT) for a silk knit tie with or without lovely dots. The bad The min. order is three ties. However, that is three knit ties in the one ground colour. Any colour dots can be added to those ties. For example, three navy ties, one solid, one with white dots and one with red dots. The wait is about a month and a half. If anybody is interested in sharing an order with me, let me know. If not, I might go ahead nevertheless and put my 'spares' up for sale here. Be warned, however, you will all be at the mercy of my horrible taste! Pictures The ends aren't as different as they appear here; most of it is down to distortion, but the navy with dots is on the right and you will notice how the end is thinner than the other two. Surprisingly, it is also the thinnest in person. Do please note the different type of 'knit'. Again, a distorted picture, but the navy with dots is the thinnest of all the ties. A good shot of the lovely dots. They're put on very well. An example of the tags. I like the 'modern' Drake's best, as I think it fits in well with a knit tie. The other tags are a bit too stuffy for me, but really who cares?
post #2 of 7
I have learned J Crew, Ralph Lauren and Land's End all offers knit ties online; how do those compare to Drake's?
post #3 of 7
The one Drakes knit that I've handled was much stiffer and of somewhat thicker silk knit than the Polo RL knit ties I've seen. As much as I like Drakes ties, there is no way I can justify their prices for a knit tie personally, since knit ties are casual ties and will only be worn occasionally by me when I'm going to wear a tie.

I plan to order a couple LE knit ties in the fall as the feedback I've seen on them has generally been positive. The wine, black, and gray colors they have are particularly appealing to me.
post #4 of 7
Do any necktie makers sell knits with different coloured dots on each tie? Mrmax posted a lovely Kilgour recently that had white, pale pink and aquamarine dots alternating on a navy knit tie, it was gorgeous.
post #5 of 7
Thank you very much for this comparison. What is the width of the navy knit with dots?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmoraitis View Post
Thank you very much for this comparison. What is the width of the navy knit with dots?
It's meant to be 6.5 cm but it's probably closer to 6. The navy knit also tricks my eye into thinking it's thinner, as it has a softer knit. The others are 6.5. They aren't really 'skinny' for a knit tie (on me), but for a normal tie, I suppose they are. Knits were never meant to be 9 or 10 cm, however. As some others have pointed out, the Drake's ties are very crunchy and hard compared with other knits out there. I like the life that gives them, but others might not. Kilgour have some very softly knitted ties (think thick socks) for sale on their site. Their dotted knits do come with different coloured spots, but only what's on the site. I would safely say that, if pushed, Drake's would happily do alternating spots through their bespoke service, as these are put on by hand after the silk is knitted. Kilgour and Drake's are on all fours with respect to price, bespoke or not. Kilgour do not offer bespoke knit ties with or without dots, and I do not personally like the 'trim' on some of their solid knit ties. If there are any other questions or if you would like some other pictures, let me know.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Whoops, I almost forgot these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminc View Post
I have learned J Crew, Ralph Lauren and Land's End all offers knit ties online; how do those compare to Drake's?
vitaminc, I haven't got any of those ties, so I can't really compare. I can't easily buy Ralph Lauren on-line where I live nor in person and I'm not really familiar with the others. I do remember some people on here mentioning that most Italian makers put out softer knit ties than the English (only Drake's left there, I believe). Durability, etc. would probably no worse or better. There is, however, bespoke and that is offered by Drake's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deipnosophist View Post
Do any necktie makers sell knits with different coloured dots on each tie? Mrmax posted a lovely Kilgour recently that had white, pale pink and aquamarine dots alternating on a navy knit tie, it was gorgeous.
Check the Kilgour web store. They have them for sale there at 75 pounds a pop. That's the same price as Drake's (with VAT). Kilgour knits will have a very, very soft knit, which is a bit like a nice sock.
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