I compiled a list of frequently asked questions from the weekend while they were still fresh in a tired mind. Â New ties are finally up on carlofranco.com. Â Site is undergoing alterations so watch out for pins, lint and scissors. In no particular order: 1. Â Self tipped versus self looped, saddle stitching, Four fold versus 7 fold versus 237 fold ties.... Okay, this is illustrated pretty well In this image BASICALLY a good tie is made from good silk. Â Good silk is vegetable dyed, not weighted (silk will soak up nasty heavy metals if you are sneaky and sell by weight), and hand finished with natural compounds to give it a finish ranging from a stiff, dry hand (What Marinella, many Brits, Giona Granata and Manton prefer) to a supple, sleek 'gum' finishing to yield a 'slippery' and shimmery surface (Think Charvet, Ricci, Me). The silk should be cut on the bias. Â if you consider that silk is woven north south and east west you want to cut it at a 45 degree angle: Â Northwest to Southeast for example. Â The two directions are called warp and weft. Â Warp is the up and down 'Base' layer and weft is the weft to wight weaving of the pattern. Â Cutting on the bias gives strength and prevents stretching. Linings: Â Synthetic linings are an abomination nearly as bad as synthetic backing. Â A good liner is made from very high quality wool. Â Linings vary in price and quality and in all honesty most makers don't bother with good ones because you never see it. ..but you do, don't you? Â When you untie the knot and the lining remains wrinkled. Â When you go out on a hot/cold wet/dry day and the tie warps.... Â good ones don't. What makes silk good? Â Or, why is this tie more expensive than that tie? Â A lot of variables here. Â Much has to do with the raw material but much has to do with how it is woven. Â We use a variety of woven silks and cashmere silk blends. Â On one end of the scale, some of the loosely woven jacquards are more delicate (longer strand 'hanging out') but very beautiful if you like that. Â The other end of the scale would be the super dense mogadors that have hundreds of 'stitches' to a lossely woven silk's 1. Â Weight and thickness of the silk are a quality measure in that silk is sold by weight. Â Be careful though - you have to match the weight to the usage. Â When you get into the seven folds a super heavy silk will make a rope. Â A light silk will roll. Â IMHO the best solution is a DENSE silk - heavy yet not thick. Many men are color blind. No, that is not a joke. Â At Sartorial Excellence II I think Jill will spend most of her time assisting men with matching ties to outfits. Â I talked to no less that 10 gents this weekend who were quite literally unable to tell what colors they saw. Â I did a little research and it is somewhere around 8%. Â I have a feeling it is environmental/regional since most Italian drivers do not differentiate between red and green in Neapolitan intersections. Did Chuck have to eat a cashmere tie? Nope, everyone liked it. The most frequent Jill questions Â Â - She gets design credit - I do the yapping, she does the patterns. Â Â - No, I don't know what the heck she sees in me and I try not to bring it up. Â Â - Why was she feeding you guys the hardest, most inane and ridiculous silk questions to ask me? Â ...because as a small child she got her kicks pulling wings off bugs... now she has me. Â Â - Since two of you asked - it was an Escada friday night. Why are some of the new Signature Collection ties more expensive? 2 things: Â Euros are more expensive and I don't look at the prices til after we decide what to do... then I multiply times X. The most expensive ones were the very dense Mogadors. Â Remember that I said you could scratch it with a fingernail and not snag it a bit? Â Well, I used the same tie to demo that to ...100? people and let them try and the demo tie looks perfect. Â In all honesty that silk costs more than anything I've seen on the market and I go LOOKING for the most expensive stuff first. Some of the new stuff that's been discussed. Â Below are some you might find interesting... Â I'm only posting the 'Different' stuff, the more mainstream stuff is on the site. Mogadors: VERY dense Here's the area I scratched to death all weekend blown up Tip What the heck would a paisley with a stripe look like? Â I was scared on these but they were big hits. Â I wore one Saturday and people noticed that when WORN it was far more subtle. Â We need to photograph the ties with 'suggested' outfits more (Jill's domain). My Saturday tie Â With a conservative charcoal gray Oxxford with a subtle stripe that was close to the stripe in the tie it worked Going to wear This one this weekend Oh... Â You wanted Bottle green... Well I know that ten people will say they meant a different bottle green but here ya go: Heineken Bottle I personally emptied 10 different green bottles, averaged them and used the Pantone chart. Medallions: Â There are going to be a LOT of medallions this fall due to all the brightly striped shirts. Â This is one of Jill's latest babies, we also did it in Navy with Gold medallions. Â Medallions Â Note - there are several varying shades of gold and bronze in that but it looks more or less solid... til the light hits it. My personal fav of this batch was another or Jill's picks... Won't mention which tie was my 'special' one this round but I think hers will win (again) Â We needed a Royal Blue and I love the way she alternated two shades of gold into this one - one of those little Jill touches that you don't notice immediately.