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Necktie manufacturing: The making of a mans tie

There are three different ways to sew a tie:

The simplest way is to sew the fabric-tube with a regular sewing machine. The disadvantage here is that the seam consisting of upper and lower thread is quite inflexible and thus the necktie cannot be tied easily.

The second method is with the LIBA machine. The tie is turned inside out and will be sewn with a single thread. Then it will be turned back to the original side.

And last, but not least, the handmade tie. The tie will be cut manually, brought into the right form, fixed with pins and finally sewn with needle and thread. Quality ties are solely manufactured by the two latter methods, while it is often a combination of both.


The silk will be spread over the cutting table and then cut. For one-color fabrics a whole pile of panels will be processed by a machine. Patterned fabrics will often be cut by hand, one by one, to guarantee an appealing design when the tie is completely sewn. Length and width are specified by templates. Most of the time they are made of transparent plastics, so the cutter can see exactly where to cut along the pattern.
Quality work can be seen at first sight: the pattern is straight and runs down the center towards the tip of the tie.

The Inlay and the Lining

Parallel to cutting the outer fabrics, inlay, lining and the fabric for the loop at the back are prepared. The inlay consists of cotton or wool, depending on weight and yarn count of the outer fabric. The tip will only be lined with pure silk, Bemberg, or the same fabric as the tie . The latter, called “self-tipping” by the expert, is quite popular in Italy. The correct fit of the inlay is vital to ensure that the necktie can be easily tied. It should fill out the outer material exactly up to the rim. If it is too wide, the outer fabric of the tie will crinkle, if it is too narrow, it will slip back and forth. It is quite surprising that even expensive designer ties crinkle after wearing them only once. There is just one thing to do: take the tie back and have it replaced.

The Sewing

After outer fabric, inlay and lining of the tie-tip have been joined, the tie will be sewn together at the back. If this procedure is done by a LIBA, the tie will be turned inside out, sewn and turned back again to the outside. . Handmade ties are brought into the final form, fixed with pins - so that they will not shift around when sewing - and then closed manually with the so-called “ slip stitch“.
You can recognize this by the rest thread, which can be found at the inner side of the wide end of a completed tie. You should never cut it off since the tie might unravel. Next, the keeper and the label will be sewn onto the back. As the last step, the tie has to be steamed carefully to remove possible pressure marks.


Jacquard or Print?

The selection of ties seems innumerable and not clearly arranged. Actually there are two main classes of ties - printed silk, and Jacquard silk - but what is the difference?

Print on silk means that the manufacturer prints patterns or motifs onto transparent or white silk fabrics with the screen-printing technique. A separate screen must be fabricated for each color printed. If an image or pattern consists of 10 colors, it has to be printed ten times. Thus, the greatest precision is a must to avoid overlapping of color applications. Ties mase of screen printed silk are especially suitable for the warmer seasons since they are usually made of lighter fabrics.

Colors, patterns and images on Jacquard ties are formed during the weaving process since different colored yarns are used. Through warp and weft, though threads going length- and crosswise on the loom, any patterns can be designed, from single-colored ties with significant diagonal stripes of twill weave to the filigree Paisleys. Jacquards are usually a bit heavier than screen-printed silks and thus preferably worn during fall or winter.

Which style one prefers is matter of taste. Many tie lovers have both kinds, since each has its own charm.

5, 6, and 7-Fold Ties

Necktie aficionados often times refer to a certain number of folds in a tie. This represents the number of folds used to make a necktie. The 7-fold tie, for example, is one of the most labor intensive ways to make a mens tie. Unlike mens ties with fewer folds, the seven fold tie does not have a separate inlay. Instead, the thickness of the tie is created by folding one single piece of silk in such a manner that no inner lining is needed. The seven fold tie originated during the 1930s but was soon replaced by ties with aa separate lining and fewer folds because it took too much labor. Then in the 1980s Monterey, CA based necktie maker Robert Talbot brought this traditional tie-making back to life. A seven-fold tie takes over an hour of skilled labor and required about ten square feet of silk fabric. Most seven fold ties costs in excess of $200.