Fancy Knot or Not?
The common knots reflect different style origins, some accidental. Most of the Knots we know of today are English creations and they have survived for many generations. History is maintained and extended every time we tie a fancy knot.
The Full Windsor
The full Windsor is credited to the Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII before his abdication). The Duke liked large symmetrical knots. It is however likely to be invented by his father, George V. The Windsor is the only tie knot permitted for use by The Royal Air force and the only knot used by The Canadian forces regardless of service.
The Half Windsor
There is also the half Windsor which is exactly what the name implies, half the effort for a less symmetrical knot.
The Four in Hand
The four in hand was first used for neckwear by an Oxford University boat club. Celebrating their win by tying the bands from boater hats around their necks using the four in hand knot. Armani insist upon for all their displays and claim the knot originated in Italy early 1930. But history proves this incorrect. London carriage drivers knotted their reins with a four-in-hand knot, whilst others claim the carriage drivers wore their scarves knotted ‘four-in-hand.
The Pratt, also known as the Shelby and the Pratt-Shelby was often worn by Jerry Pratt a member of the US Chamber of Commerce. He had been wearing this type of knot for twenty years before it was discovered by popular TV personality Shelby who wore on air.
The not so popular tie knot, The Eldridge, named after the man, although little is known about the true origin of this knot it appeals to those brave enough to attempt this very complex knot.
The most commonly used fabric is silk, either, woven, printed or embroidered. Polyester is widely used for the lower end of the corporate market tie market. Many international designer brands experiment with silk wool, silk cotton and silk linen blends. These blended fabrics don’t drape as well as pure silk but give an unusual textural feel. The major drawback is when dry cleaning the blended fabrics seems to distort.
There are a number of choices for lining the inside of the tie, all give a different result. The best choice is 100% wool. This gives the silk a full luxurious body; it drapes well and holds a knot perfectly in place all day long. Polyester is more commonly used in less expensive ties because it costs far less than natural fibres. Due to the rubbery aspect of polyester there is less friction, so the knot tends to slip. Some tie makers recommend a wool blend, but all Savile Row tailors only recommend natural fibres. Other fabrics used to line ties are muslin, cotton and linen. Seven fold use no lining at all.
When it comes to style, don’t be confused, mislead or criticized, because style is very personal and beyond criticism. Each time you put on a collection of clothing your personal style is created.