This is the second in an ongoing series of features and slide shows about the Collection of Sartorial Excellence artisans. SEAWARD & STEARN, Tiemakers The English Silk Tie It was in early 2002 when Gary Seaward and Mark Stearn joined forces to create Seaward & Stearn, "The English Silk Tie". Two young gentlemen who come from an extensive background in neckwear. Mark, who comes from a third generation tie making family, spent weekends and evenings as a child making ties with his father. In 1987 he joined Charles Hill Silks, where his design skills and abilities really came to light. Soon after, this company was purchased by Turnbull and Asser and Mark was appointed to the position of Managing Director, the youngest person ever to be appointed to the board of Turnbull and Asser. Gary joined the industry at the young age of sixteen when he went to work for John Comfort in the dispatch and production department. In 2000 Gary joined Jermyn Street Ties, a division of Turnbull and Asser, where he produced the Jermyn Street Collection, a brand for the world wide market. It was here that Mark and Gary envisioned their own brand; one that is recognized for quality, style, and setting new directions. To create a top quality tie, one needs to begin with the best ingredients. Seaward and Stearn jacquard silks come from one of only two remaining silk weavers in the world who actually weave 100% pure silk fabric. The extensive silk collection is still made in the English Peak District, an area known and recognized for its heritage in weaving, dyeing and printing of fine English silk that dates back to the 1700's. A few of the thousands of available silks are shown in this slide show. Also to be seen here is one of the small, old English looms used to weave the wonderfully colored Seaward & Stearn silks. Adhering to traditional methods of tiemaking by hand and using only the finest fabrics, Seaward & Stearn remain one of the very few English tie-making companies designing and colouring its own style of fabric. Gary and Mark offer a wide variety of designs within their collections. Elegant micro neats, open spaced motifs, super reppe stripes and larger flamboyant geometric designs, a signature of the Seaward & Stearn collection. Owning a Seaward & Stearn tie is akin to owning a fine piece of art. It was coloured by an artist and made by hand. Hand made ties designed, coloured, and manufactured exclusively in London, England. Each tie is made with a dual lining of cotton and wool to retain shape and insure recovery for a beautiful long lasting tie. The thread count in almost all Seaward & Stearn woven jacquard ties is 350 ends. This provides a rich and elegant finish to the fabric which is the trademark of quality for which Seaward & Stearn is known. Mark and Gary also pride themselves on their use of the Seven Fold production method. A single piece of silk folded seven times before it is sewn, this uniquely traditional method of tie making dates back to the 1920's. Tiemaker Gary Seaward will be in-residence at the Collection of Sartorial Excellence offering not only a selection of ties from the current season, but something quite special as well. On hand in Gary's kit bag will be the thousands of next season's carded swatches for which the silk is now being woven. Sartorial Excellence guests exclusively will be able to order these Fall 2007 season ties for delivery in September before they become available to the general public. In addition to neckties, Seaward and Stern will also be showing their collection of hand-rolled pocket squares, their innovative bow ties, and their new range of gentlemen's scarves. Copyright Â 2006 Alexander S. Kabbaz - Joelle M. Kelly. All rights reserved.