The following article was sourced from a Wikipedia page at the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necktie
A necktie or simply tie is a long piece of cloth worn for decorative purposes around the neck or shoulders, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat.
Variants include the ascot tie, bow tie, bolo tie, zipper tie, cravat and clip-on tie. The modern necktie, ascot, and bow tie are descended from the cravat. Neck ties are generally unsized, but may be available in a longer size. Men and boys wear neckties as part of regular office attire or formal wear. Neckties can also be worn as part of a uniform (e.g. military, school and waitstaff), whereas some choose to wear them as everyday clothing attire. Neckties are traditionally worn with the top shirt button fastened, and the tie knot resting between the collar points. Among younger men, neckties are sometimes worn as a casual item, tied loosely around the neck, with the top shirt button unfastened.
Historians pointed out the origins of neckties to as early as 221 BC during the time of China’s first emperor Shih Huang Ti and some others believe it started in the Roman Empire during the period 98 AD to 117 AD. But, the modern necktie spread by Europe traces back to the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) when Croatian mercenaries from the Croatian Military Frontier in French service, wearing their traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs, aroused the interest of the Parisians. Due to the slight difference between the Croatian word for Croats, Hrvati, and the French word, Croates, the garment gained the name "cravat" ("cravate" in French). The boy-king Louis XIV began wearing a lace cravat about 1646, when he was seven, and set the fashion for French nobility. This new article of clothing started a fashion craze in Europe; both men and women wore pieces of fabric around their necks. From its introduction by the French king, men wore lace cravats, or jabots, that took a large amount of time and effort to arrange. These cravats were often tied in place by cravat strings, arranged neatly and tied in a bow.
International Necktie Day is celebrated on October 18 in Croatia and in various cities around the world, e.g. in Dublin, Tübingen, Como, Tokyo, Sydney and other towns.
1680–1710: the Steinkirk
1710–1800: stocks, solitaires, neckcloths, cravats
Stock ties were initially just a small piece of muslin folded into a narrow band wound a few times round the shirt collar and secured from behind with a pin. It was fashionable for the men to wear their hair long, past shoulder length. The ends were tucked into a black silk bag worn at the nape of the neck. This was known as the bag-wig hairstyle, and the neckwear worn with it was the stock.
The solitaire was a variation of the bag wig. This form had matching ribbons stitched around the bag. After the stock was in place, the ribbons would be brought forward and tied in a large bow in front of the wearer.
Sometime in the late 18th century, cravats began to make an appearance again. This can be attributed to a group of young men called the macaronis (of "Yankee Doodle" fame). These were young Englishmen who returned from Europe and brought with them new ideas about fashion from Italy. The French contemporaries of the macaronis were the incroyables.
1800–1850: cravat, stocks, scarves, bandanas
It was about this time that black stocks made their appearance. Their popularity eclipsed the white cravat, except for formal and evening wear. These remained popular through to the 1850s. At this time, another form of neckwear worn was the scarf. This was where a neckerchief or bandana was held in place by slipping the ends through a finger or scarf ring at the neck instead of using a knot. This is the classic sailor neckwear and may have been adopted from them.
1860–1920s: bow ties, scarf/neckerchief, the ascot, the long tie
By this time, the sometimes complicated array of knots and styles of neckwear gave way to the neckties and bow ties, the latter a much smaller, more convenient version of the cravat. Another type of neckwear, the Ascot tie, was considered "de rigueur" for male guests at formal dinners and male spectators at races. These ascots had wide flaps that were crossed and pinned together on the chest.
This was until 1926, when 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 during 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 1920s.
1920s – Present day
In Britain, regimental stripes have been continuously used in tie designs at least since the 1920s. In Commonwealth countries, necktie stripes run from the left shoulder down to the right side. In Commonwealth countries, normally only people affiliated with a regiment (or university, school or organisation) will wear a necktie affiliated with that regiment (or university, college, school, or other organisation). When Brooks Brothers introduced similar striped ties in the United States around the beginning of the 20th century, they had their stripes run from the right shoulder to the left side, in part to distinguish them from British regimental (and organisational, school and university) striped neckties.
Before the Second World War ties were worn shorter than they are today; this was due, in part, to men wearing trousers at the natural waist (more or less at the level of the belly button), and also due to the popularity of vests (waistcoats), where tie length is not important as long as the tips are concealed. Around 1944, ties started to become not only wider, but wilder. This was the beginning of what was later labelled the Bold Look: ties that reflected the returning GIs' desire to break with wartime uniformity. Widths reached 5 inches (13 cm), and designs included Art Deco, hunting scenes, scenic "photographs", tropical themes, and even girlie prints, though more traditional designs were also available. The typical length was 48 inches (120 cm).
The Bold Look lasted until about 1951, when the "Mister T" look (so termed by Esquire magazine), was introduced. The new style, characterized by tapered suits, slimmer lapels, and smaller hat brims, included thinner and not so wild ties. Tie widths slimmed to 3 inches (7.6 cm) by 1953 and continued getting thinner up until the mid-1960s; length increased to about 52 inches (130 cm) as men started wearing their pants lower, closer to the hips. Through the 1950s, neckties remained somewhat colourful, yet more restrained than in the previous decade. Small geometric shapes were often employed against a solid background (i.e., foulards); diagonal stripes were also popular. By the early 1960s, dark, solid ties became very common, with widths slimming down to as little as 1 inch (2.5 cm).
The 1960s brought about an influx of pop art influenced designs. The first was designed by Michael Fish when he worked at Turnbull & Asser, and was introduced in Britain in 1965; the term Kipper tie was a pun on his name, as well as a reference to the triangular shape of the front of the tie. The exuberance of the styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s gradually gave way to more restrained designs. Ties became wider, returning to their 4 1⁄2-inch (11 cm) width, sometimes with garish colours and designs. The traditional designs of the 1930s and 1950s reappeared, particularly Paisley patterns. Ties began to be sold along with shirts, and designers slowly began to experiment with bolder colours.
In the 1980s, narrower ties, some as narrow as 1 1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) but more typically 3 to 3 1⁄4 inches (7.6 to 8.3 cm) wide, became popular again. Into the 1990s, as ties got wider again, increasingly unusual designs became common. Novelty (or joke) ties or deliberately kitschy ties designed to make a statement gained a certain popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. These included ties featuring cartoon characters, commercial products, or pop culture icons, and those made of unusual materials, such as plastic or wood. During this period, with men wearing their pants at their hips, ties lengthened to 57 inches (140 cm).
At the start of the 21st century, ties widened to 3 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 inches (8.9 to 9.5 cm) wide, with a broad range of patterns available, from traditional stripes, foulards, and club ties (Ties with a crest or design signifying a club, organization, or order) to abstract, themed, and humorous ones. The standard length remains 57 inches (140 cm), though other lengths vary from 117 cm to 152 cm. While ties as wide as 3 3⁄4 inches (9.5 cm) inches are still available, ties under 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide also became popular, particularly with younger men and the fashion-conscious. In 2008 and 2009 the world of fashion saw a return to narrower ties.
In 1926, Jesse Langsdorf from New York introduced ties cut on the bias (US) or cross-grain (UK), allowing the tie to evenly fall from the knot without twisting; this also caused any woven pattern such as stripes to appear diagonally across the tie.
Today, four-in-hand ties are part of men's dress clothing in both Western and non-Western societies, particularly for business.
Four-in-hand ties are generally made from silk or polyester. Another material common before World War II but not as popular nowadays, wool. More recently, microfiber ties have also appeared; in the 1950s and 1960s, other manmade fabrics, such as Dacron and rayon, were also used, but have fallen into disfavour. Modern ties appear in a wide variety of colours and patterns, notably striped (usually diagonally); club ties (with a small motif repeated regularly all over the tie); foulards (with small geometric shapes on a solid background); paisleys; and solids. Novelty ties featuring icons from popular culture (such as cartoons, actors, or holiday images), sometimes with flashing lights, have enjoyed some popularity since the 1980s.
Six- and seven-fold ties
"Pre-tied" ties, and development of clip-ons
The perceived utility of this development in the history of style is evidenced by the series of patents issued for various forms of these ties, beginning in the late 19th century, and by the businesses filing these applications and fulfilling a market need for them. For instance, a patent filed by Joseph W. Less of the One-In-Hand Tie Company of Clinton, Iowa for "Pre-tied neckties and methods for making the same" noted that:
"many efforts ... in the past to provide a satisfactory four-in-hand tie so ... that the wearer... need not tie the knot ... had numerous disadvantages and ... limited commercial success. Usually, such ties have not accurately simulated the Windsor knot, and have often had a[n] ... unconventional made up appearance. Frequently, ... [they were] difficult to attach and uncomfortable when worn... [and] unduly expensive... [offering] little advantage over the conventional."
The Inventor proceeded to claim for the invention—the latest version of a 1930s-1950s product line from former concert violinist Joseph, and Iowan brothers Walter, Louis, and William that evolved to be identifiable as the modern clip-on —"a novel method for making up the tie... [eliminating] the neckband of the tie, which is useless and uncomfortable in warm weather... [and providing] means of attachment which is effective and provides no discomfort to the wearer", and in doing so achieves "accurate simulation of the Windsor knot, and extremely low material and labour costs." Notably, the company made use of ordinary ties purchased from the New York garment industry, and was a significant employers of women in the pre-war and World War II years.
While the appeal of the pre-tied ties from the perspective of fashion has flowed and ebbed, varieties of clip-on long ties and banded bow ties are still the most common form of child-sized ties in the opening decade of the 21st century.
TYPES OF KNOT
There are four main knots used to knot neckties. In rising order of difficulty, they are:
The Windsor knot is named after the Duke of Windsor, although he did not invent it. The Duke did favour a voluminous knot; however, he achieved this by having neckties specially made of thicker cloths.
In the late 1990s, two researchers, Thomas Fink and Yong Mao of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, used mathematical modelling to discover that eighty-five knots are possible with a conventional tie (limiting the number "moves" used to tie the knot to nine; longer sequences of moves result in too large a knot or leave the hanging ends of the tie too short). The models were published in academic journals, while the results and the 85 knots were published in layman's terms in a book entitled The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie. Of the 85 knots, Fink and Mao selected thirteen knots as "aesthetic" knots, using the qualities of symmetry and balance. Based on these mathematical principles, the researchers came up with not only the four necktie knots in common use, but nine more, some of which had seen limited use, and some that are believed to have been codified for the first time.
Other types of knots include:
TIES AS A SIGN OF MEMBERSHIP
The use of coloured and patterned neckties indicating the wearer's membership in a club, military regiment, school, professional association (Royal Colleges, Inns of Courts) et cetera, dates only from late-19th century England. The immediate forerunners of today's college neckties were in 1880 the oarsmen of Exeter College, Oxford, who tied the bands of their straw hats around their necks.
Most secondary schools in the United Kingdom, and some in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India maintain neckties with a specific design as part of their school uniforms. Many private primary schools also require pupils to wear ties.
The most common pattern for such ties in the UK and most of Europe consists of diagonal stripes of alternating colours running down the tie from the wearer's left. Note that neckties are cut on the bias (diagonally), so the stripes on the source cloth are parallel or perpendicular to the selvage, not diagonal. The colours themselves may be particularly significant. The dark blue and red regimental tie of the Household Cavalry is said to represent the blue blood (i.e. nobility) of the Royal Family, and the red blood of the Guards.
In the United States, diagonally striped ties are commonly worn with no connotation of group membership. Typically, American striped ties have the stripes running downward from the wearer's right (the opposite of the European style). However, when Americans wear striped ties as a sign of membership, the European stripe style may be used.
An alternative membership tie pattern to diagonal stripes is either a single emblem or a crest centred and placed where a tie pin normally would be, or a repeated pattern of such motifs. Sometimes, both types are used by an organization, either simply to offer a choice or to indicate a distinction among levels of membership. Occasionally, a hybrid design is used, in which alternating stripes of colour are overlaid with repeated motif pattern.
USE BY WOMEN
Neckties are sometimes part of uniforms worn by women, which nowadays is particularly required at restaurants and police forces. In many countries, girls are nowadays required to wear ties as part of primary and secondary school uniforms. Ties may also be used by women as a fashion statement. During the late 1970s and 1980s, it was not uncommon for young women in the United States to wear ties as part of a casual outfit. This trend was popularized by Diane Keaton who wore a tie as the titular character in Annie Hall in 1977. In 1993, neckties reappeared as prominent fashion accessories for women in both Europe and the U.S. Canadian recording artist, Avril Lavigne, wore Neckties with tank tops early in her career.
OPPOSITION TO AND PROBLEMS WITH NECKTIES
The debate between proponents and opponents of the necktie centre on social conformity, professional expectation, and personal, sartorial expression. Quoting architect Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright said: "Form follows function". Applied sartorially, the necktie's decorative function is so criticized.
Health and safety hazard
In the UK, it is a popular prank to pull someone's tie so that it tightens. This prank, known as peanuting or "squatknotting", is often used to embarrass the victim and can also be used for more severe bullying. In March 2008, a 13-year-old boy from Oxted, in Surrey, was rushed into hospital with spinal injuries after being "peanuted". He was kept in hospital for three days.
Removing the necktie as a social and sartorial business requirement (and sometimes forbidding it) is a modern trend often attributed to the rise of popular culture. Although it was common as everyday wear as late as 1966, over the years 1967–69, the necktie fell out of fashion almost everywhere, except where required. There was a resurgence in the 1980s, but in the 1990s, ties again fell out of favour, with many technology-based companies having casual dress requirements, including Apple Inc., Amazon.com, eBay, Genentech, Microsoft, Monsanto, and Google.
In western business culture, a phenomenon known as Casual Friday has arisen, in which employees are not required to wear ties on Fridays, and then—increasingly—on other, announced, special days. Some businesses have extended casual-dress days to Thursday, and even Wednesday; others require neckties only on Monday (to start the work week). At the furniture company IKEA, neckties are not allowed.
An example of anti-necktie sentiment is found in Iran, whose theocratic rulers have denounced the accessory as a decadent symbol of European oppression. In the late 1970s (at the time of the Islamic Revolution), members of the US press even metonymized Iran's hardliners as turbans and its moderates as neckties. To date, most Iranian men in Iran have retained the Western-style long-sleeved collared shirt and three-piece suit, while excluding the necktie. The majority of Iranian men abroad wear neckties.
Neckties are viewed by various sub- and counter-culture movements as being a symbol of submission and slavery (i.e., having a symbolic chain around one's neck) to the corrupt elite of society, as a "wage slave".
Among those who have expressed this sentiment is the entrepreneur Richard Branson.
DESIGNERS OF NECKTIES
For 60 years, designers and manufacturers of neckties in the United States were members of the Men's Dress Furnishings Association but the trade group shut down in 2008 due to declining membership due to the declining numbers of men wearing neckties.
For more information about ties, please click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necktie