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The source of Drakes knit ties

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by radicaldog, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    DaveSmith,

    You have me curious - is this something you have done or have watched done?

    I am unclear what you mean by "after the fact".

    If I were going to sew spots on a grenadine tie by hand today I would do it just after cutting the silk, and before the tie was folded.

    With a knit maybe the same way - but I am not sure - it depends on how we had the fabric knitted.
     
  2. davesmith

    davesmith Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Never seen it done, maybe one day. What I mean is the opposite of a Berg & Berg tie, where the tie and spots are the same and cannot be separated. I am not sure of the exact time when the spots are sewn on but it is after the solid tie is woven. In the brown Rubinacci tie you can clearly see the spots sewn into the weave of the knitted tie. (Not sure if my terminology is correct, let the pictures doe the talking!)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    I would guess it's easier to sew the spots before the tie is stitched together at the back. But I really don't care -- I just want to order my own combinations of tie and spots!
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yeah, I acknowledge there are differences, but my interest in that goes only so far. I don't care how crunchy they feel or what loom they're weaved on. My concern is durability (to a point) and aesthetics, nothing more. I can't see paying twice as much for one brand as another if the differences are only noticeable when I stroke the silk with my fingers or look at it with a loupe. My Charvets are nice, but I can't say they're worth the premium over my Polos.
     
  5. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Fair enough. I actually didn't buy any knits when I was in Charvet last spring because they seemed identical to some middle-market ones I have from various brands (e.g. Howard Yount -- but maybe this is a recent development), and costed more (btw, most of the other ties in Charvet are shiny monstrosities). Excluding the completely flat Jersey weaves (which are a different style altogether), it seems to me that there are four different kinds of silk knits:

    1 - Almost flat and light, a sort of piquet weave. These are sold by cheaper retailers such as TM Lewin, and I consider them too ugly to wear.

    2 - Crunchy and airy: I have some of these by Borsalino, Les Copains and Polo. I really like them.

    3 - Crunchy and loose: this is the Howard Yount variety. Many other brands sell these. They're not bad at all and I wear them happily.

    4 - Crunchy and tightly woven: this is the Drakes variety. I consider them a better version of (3) and slightly more formal than (2) and really like them.

    I wear 2, 3 and 4 (and the odd jersey weave), but 4 give me that little extra satisfaction when I tie them. I don't claim that this in any way reflects an objective superiority of those ties.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  6. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Radical Dog,

    The best knit tie review I have seen - good work.

    Any chance of close-up photos of all 4?

    The photos would help show the difference between 2 and 3.
     
  7. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Thanks. I'm travelling around till early Sept., but will try and take some photos when back home.
     
  8. davesmith

    davesmith Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Well said.
     
  9. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    With the Berg & Berg tie, you can clearly see that the spots are knitted in a way that alters the flow of the knit. The dots cause ripples in the rows on either side. I prefer the embroidered Rubinacci.
     
  10. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Radical Dog,


    Still looking forward to the photos when you get back.

    Meanwhile it turns out we have one woman on our staff that can sew beautiful hand sewn dots (spots for our UK friends).

    I am not sure how long it would take to sew dots on an entire tie but custom colors would be possible and we would start with grenadines.
     
  11. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    As requested, here are some clumsy photographs of my three favourite kinds of knit tie.

    From top to bottom, types 2 (crunchy and airy), 3 (crunchy and loose), and 4 (crunchy and tight):

    [​IMG]

    Close-up:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    And a comparison of 2 (bottom) and 4 (top) in bicolour version, which may highlight the difference in the weave:

    [​IMG]

    I have type 3 with stripes but not in bicolour version, alas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  13. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Great stuff, radicaldog. With respect to my comments earlier in the thread, Rubi knits are like 3, whereas KW knits are like 4.
     
  14. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    This is very illustrative; thank you for taking the time to photo/post. Your "type 3" (middle one) is certainly my favorite but I haven't seen them sold anywhere, so the few knits I have (all Polo IIRC) are type 2 and worn sparingly as a result. I'll keep an eye out for the middle type next time I think about getting a knit. Thanks again.
     
  15. Frankie22

    Frankie22 Senior member

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    Great overview!
    I think Wang and Polo (on deal) provide the best bang for your knit buck. When comparing Polo to wang, I think Polo is "crunchier" but on the skinnier side.
     
  16. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    You're welcome. It seems to me that type 3 (crunchy and loose) is the most common one of the three. I suspect the maker is Nick Bronson. Howard Yount, Gallo and many others use this weave.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  17. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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  18. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Yes, sorry. Edited the mistake above.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    ^ Nice (though I tend to use the spotted ones with suits only). I think those are both n. 3 (crunchy and loose). Note how in n. 4 (crunchy and tight) the knots are tighter and slightly more on a zig-zag rather than a straight grid. One can see that quite clearly in my comparison shot of the two bicoloured ones above.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

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