"Weighted silk" on necktie label

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mack11211, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    Sep 28, 2004
    Brooklyn USA
    Dear Folks

    Many times on vintage silk ties I find the text "weighted silk" or "weighted up to 40%." The ties are expecially thick, the silk especially lustrous. Most of the ties are from the 50s or 60s. What is weighted silk, and why is it not the selling point it used to be?

  2. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Aug 22, 2003

    When silk is processed the natural 'gum' coating is removed in the boiling process. This can make it much less heavy. Silk has some interesting properties - it has a tendency to absorb metals and various minerals so sometimes in the treatment process they will add these to the brew to add weight to the silk. You are replacing silk weight with nice heavy metals, sometimes carcinogens etcetera with the dyes used by certain countries which I won't name.

    Want heavier silk? Wash it right, dye it with natural vegetable dyes and then make it heavier using 4-8 ply silk in the weaving process.

    Weighted silks do not last as long and tend to fall apart, properly produced silk will last and stay lovely.

    ANyone up for Silk trivial pursuit?

  3. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Dec 22, 2003
    East Hampton & New York
    The process is called "tin-weighting". Tin, as everyone knows, is a metal comprised of lead and whatever other sh.t the alloyer had laying around the shop, usually zinc. The reason that this is done is because silk is sold by weight. The process Chuck describes of using heavier yarns is the honest, but much more expensive one. Tin-weighting provides the silk seller with higher income at lower cost. It also, should you decide to eat the tie as Chuck will be doing a demonstration of at A Collection of Sartorial Excellence, does give you a healthy dose of a well-documented carcinogen. It is in this manner that we shall be able to base our decision about the content of Carlo Franco ties on more than just his word.

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