Logo Tie-Knots.org

How neckties are made

There are three ways of manufacturing a tie.

  1. The simplest way of making a necktie is to roll up the fabric into a tube and then sew it up at the seam. Cheap neckties are often times made this way. The disadvantage is, that the seam of upper and lower thread is quite inflexible which makes it difficult to tie the tie.
  2. The second method is by using a special sewing machine called the Liba machine. The tie needs to be turned inside out, and then is sown up with a single thread.
  3. The third way to sew a necktie is to do it by hand. First, the fabric will be cut manually. Then it has to be put into the right form, be fixed with pins, and finally, of course, sewn with needle and thread. Quality ties are manufactured exclusively by the last two methods, whereas the handmade tie can be called the cream of the crop.
  4. 3, 5, and 7 fold ties? Have you heard designers speak of sevenfold neckties and you are unsure what this means. It is quite simple. The number speaks for the number of folds of the silk before the tie is sown up. Ties with more folds are usually thicker. In addition the inlay is from the same piece of fabric as the tie. This ensures that the tie will hold its shape better and is easier to tie.

How to cut the fabric of a tie?

First, the silk will be laid out onto the cutting table, where it will be cut. With single-colored fabrics, a whole pile of panels will be processed at once, using a machine, whereas patterned fabrics are often cut by hand - one by one - so the finished tie will show a smooth pattern without any disruptions. Another reason to cut patterned fabrics by hand is to ensure that the pattern aligns right so that it creates a symmetrical and uniform image – this is especially important for diagonally striped neckties. Each necktie template specifies the length and width of each cut. Most common are templates that are made from a transparent plastic. This allows the cutter see the pattern better before cutting the fabric. In a quality tie the pattern runs straight down towards the tip of the tie.

Inlay and lining of ties

While cutting the outer fabrics, the inlay, lining and the fabric for the loop of the backside are prepared. The inlay usually consists of cotton or wool, depending on weight and fineness of the outer fabric (only 5 and 7 fold ties use the same fabric for the lining and outer fabric). The tie tip will either be lined with pure silk, called Bemberg method, or the same fabric as the tie. The later is called “self-tipping” by the expert, and especially popular in Italy. Whether or not a tie is easy to tie depends to a large part on the perfect fit of the inlay. It should fill out the outer fabric accurately up to the edges on the inside of the necktie. In case the inlay is too wide, the outer fabric of the tie will crinkle, if it is too narrow, it will slip back and forth. Five and seven fold ties use the exact same fabric for the inlay as for the outside.

How to sew a tie

After outer fabric, inlay, and the lining of the tip have been placed together, it will be sown together inside-out using the "Liba machine". A handmade tie first has to be brought into the final form, then fixed with pins - so that the fabric will not shift around when sewing - and as a last step closed manually with the so-called "slip stitch".

You can make out a handmade tie by the rest of thread that is to be found at the inner side of the broad end of a tie. Never ever cut it off since the whole necktie might unravel! Then the little loop with the Brand label will be sewn onto the back. As last step, careful steaming of the tie will get rid of any wrinkles.

Learn how a silk tie is made. Try to make your own necktie with these tie making tips. Tie-knots.org is a site for the necktie aficionado. Learn everything there is to know from different ways How to tie a tie to tie matching and necktie dress codes.