History of the Tie
Ties have been around for an extremely long time, there’s proof going way back to 221 BC, Chinas first emperor Shih Huang Ti and his Terracotta Army were buried in an underground tomb in Xi’an. Each life size model replica wore a neck tie.
113 BC early roman orators work neckerchiefs to keep their vocal chords warm.
The Croatian scarf which is part of the Croatian military uniform came to France in 1650 and was embraced as fashionable attire by King Louis XIV, the French term for ties is ‘la cravate’.
1692 introduced The Steinkirke a neck cloth with long lace ends worn in a dishevelled manner became popular. It originated at the battle of Steinkirke.
When French soldiers tucked their neck scarves into their button hole because they were caught by surprise by the enemy and had no time to properly dress.
1784 Beau Brummel, an authority on men’s fashion in regency England was said to be the first person to associate a neck cloth with individual style and self expression.
America in the 1800’s according to the neckwear association to touch another men’s cravat in this decade was taboo and catalyst for a duel.
In 1818 the book Neckclothintania was published which illustrated 14 different ways to tie a cravat. Its publication marked the initial usage of the word tie in reference to men’s neckwear.
In 1840 tie replaced the word cravat on mass scale. The first mass produced readymade tie was patented and became popular throughout Germany and the United States.
In 1880 the British army abandoned colourful uniforms in an effort to camouflage themselves. However their original colours became their stripes on their neck ties which became a signature part of their uniforms and what is now seen today as part of school, club and event ties.
French fashion designers invented the first variation of a designer tie which was made from more expensive materials and decorated with patterns inspired by the cubism and art deco movements.
The first club tie bearing a printed or woven emblem of a club, organisation or institution appeared in 1880 when members of Oxford University’s rowing team took the striped bands off their rowing hats and tied them round their necks.
In the 1920s the Macclesfield tie became popular among wealthy Americans. This popular tie featured a geometric pattern that was a speciality of the London area textile mills at the turn of the century. Throughout the industrial revolution more people wanted neckwear that was easy to put on, that was comfortable to wear and would last an entire work day. Neck Ties were designed long, thin and easy to tie a knot, they also didn’t come undone very easily. This neck tie design is what is still popular today.
After the First World War hand painted ties became a popular form of decoration in America, the widths of some of these ties went up to 4.5” (11cm) these loud flamboyant ties sold very well all the way through the 1950’s.
In Britain regimental stripes have been commonly used in tie designs for school ties, college and University ties, army and club ties the regimental ties date back to the 1880’s.
The 1960’s brought an influx for pop art influenced designs. The first was designed by Michael Fish, a British Fashion Designer in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the term Kipper Tie was a pun on his name. Garish colours and designs were seen along with traditional 1930’s paisley patterns.
Narrow, skinny ties were introduced in the 1980’s, some as narrow as 1.5” (3.8cm). Into the 1990’s ties began to get wider and the novelty, fun designs were brought into the main stream. Joke ties and kitschy designs to make a statement were hugely popular, these included ties featuring popular cartoon characters, commercial products and pop culture icons. Unusual materials made into ties were also seen on catwalks including plastic, leather and even wood! Crazy Huh!
At the beginning of the 21st century ties were made widely available and came in lots of different shapes and sizes with a broad range of patterns available from traditional stripes, polka dots and plain ties to club ties, abstract patterns, themed and humorous , joke ties. Younger men and the fashion conscious are wearing this popular accessory more and more and the world of fashion will continue to see this ever changing men’s fashion item for many years to come, so let the tie live on!