Seven Fold Ties

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Finer men's retailers target seven fold ties at buttoned-down men who appreciate the difference between silk and filler. Many manufacturers cut costs by weaving polyester, nylon, rayon, or other synthetics into the backs of their ties, assuming that average men will never bother to inspect them. The tie you're wearing right now may have been billed as 100-percent silk, but there's a good chance that inferior fabrics have found their way inside.

Not so with seven fold ties, which take their name from the manner in which the silk is folded over itself during its construction. Take apart these folds and you'll notice successive layers of silk all the way through, a phenomenon that contributes to a fuller, sturdier tie. With seven fold ties, there's never a reason to check for potential craftsmanship flaws by draping the tie over your arm to see if it falls straight or smoothing the surface in search of bunching fabric.

The Value of Seven Fold Ties

One of the first selling points of seven fold ties is their scarcity. You can't simply walk into your local men's store and browse a rack of seven fold ties in search of patterns that strike you. Those few designers who do make them tend to limit their manufacture to about 10 or 15 a day. Robert Talbott, one of the clothiers who helped pioneer seven-folds, limits his collection to 40 units of any given pattern, each of which comes with a marked limited-edition tag.

Second, the seven fold tie harkens back to the earliest days of the 20th century, when robber barons wore them as marks of distinction. Once the Great Depression hit in the late '20s, the seven-fold disappeared in part because resources of every kind were scarce. It wasn't until some 50 years later that this classic cravat made its triumphant comeback.

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