Saturday, 23 January 2016


This last week I've been thinking about and making neckties of all kinds. I've made a few different styles of tie. Neckwear is one of my favourite parts of victorian mens wear.

The first tie I made is a four in hand. To my knowledge the four in hand came into fashion in the 1860s and stayed till the 1910s. The four in hand is normally made from two layers of silk or cotton with padding called domette in-between to give a more full appearance. The four in hand ties are tied in a four in hand knot. I also made a pre-tied style of four in hand, copied from an original.

Here's a good example of a self tied four in hand.

Self tied four in hand made by myself.

This gent is wearing a pre-tied four in hand.
Cardboard interfacing is what gives the knot of a pre-tied four in hand it's crisp and symmetrical appearance.

My reproduction of a pre-tied four in hand from a friends collection 

The next tie I made is a pre-tied cravat. I copied the cravat from photos of an original in the collection of the Society for the Museum of Original Costume.  Pre-tied cravats and ties were quite common during the 19th century and came in many styles. I personally prefer self tied ties, thought as I learn more about 19th century pre tied ties I'm liking them more and more.

Mid to late 19th century pre tied cravat in the
 collection of the 
Society for the Museum of Original Costume.
My reproduction of the pre tide cravat pictured above.

My 10 year old cousin asked me to make him a pre-tied bow tie, so I made him two. One in a modern style and one in the style of his favourite inventor Isambard Kingdom Brunel. I also made him a collar inspired by one of Brunel's collars.

Modern style bow tie for my cousin.

Collar and tie for my cousin. Inspired by Brunel collar and tie.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

The next tie I'm making will be the kind Sherlock Holmes wore in the granada television series.

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.

For more information on 19th century neckwear the Handbook of English Costume in the 19th Century is a great Book with all kinds of information on victorian mens fashion.

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