2,000 Years of the Necktie: Determining a First Class Tie

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Determining a First Class Tie

by David Johnson
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Neckties Through the Ages

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In the 19th century, silk ties were made of a single piece of silk and folded seven ways to provide thickness. Today, ties are made of three individual pieces of the same material and derive their thickness from an inner lining. The higher the wool content, the better the tie.

Another clue to a high-class tie is to turn it over and examine the back. A stitch adjoining the two sides of the inverted "v" should be visible. Called the bar tack, this helps maintain the tie's shape.

In addition, if you open the back of the tie up as far as possible, a loose black thread should be visible. This is called the slip stitch. The tie moves along this thread while retaining its shape when it is wrapped around your neck. If you pull on the slip stitch, the tie should gather. This is the mark of a handmade, quality tie.

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