The History of the Necktie
from The World Book Encyclopedia and Wikipedia
The young Franklin envisioned and created the concept of the Shortti while working as a runner at the prestigious Chicago Board of Trade.
Necktie (or tie) is a band of material or a bow that is worn around the neck. The tie is the most visible item of men’s clothing, and it reflects the wearer’s personal tastes. The four-in-hand and bow ties worn today have been about the same style since they were first worn in the 1870’s. The necktie traces back to the time of Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) when Croatian mercenaries from the Military Frontier in French service, wore their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, commonly referred to as the “Cravat”. Neckties originated in the neckcloths that men folded and wrapped around their necks, with ribbon tied over them to hold the ends in place. In the 1700’s, men wore a whalebone stock. They fastened it in back with a strap or buckle, and tied it in front with a bow or knot. The cravats of the 1600’s and 1700’s were often frilly and lace-trimmed. By the mid-1800’s, narrow string ties, knotted bow ties, and ascots had replaced the more elaborate cravat. By about 1870, most men began to prefer wearing the wider four-in-hand necktie during the day. They wore white bow ties in the evening. Black bow ties appeared in the early 1900’s. Today, necktie widths vary slightly in accordance with the styling of suit lapels. In 1926, a New York tie maker, Jesse Langsdorf came up with a method of cutting the fabric on the bias and sewing it in three segments. This technique improved elasticity and facilitated the fabric’s return to its original shape. Since that time, most men have worn the “Langsdorf” tie. Yet another development of that time was the method used to secure the lining and interlining once the tie had been folded into shape. Richard Atkinson and Company of Belfast claim to have introduced the slipstitch for this purpose in the late 1920’s.
There are four main knots used to knot neckties. The simplest, the four-in-hand, may be the most common. The others (in order of difficulty) are:
- The Pratt knot (the Shelby knot)
- The half-Windsor knot
- The Windsor knot (also erroneously called the “double-Windsor”). The Windsor knot is the thickest knot of the four, since its tying has the most steps. The Windsor knot is named after the Duke of Windsor, although he did not invent it.
Since then, neckties have evolved in terms of shape, size, and color; often reflecting the sign of the times. With the coming of the 21st Century, thus begins the next evolution of the necktie.
Introducing the tie 400 years in the making.