Many men become attached to their tie collection and feel the pain when these prized possessions become stained or wrinkled. A silk tie is the quintessential accompaniment to every distinguished gentleman’s wardrobe, that finishing touch that sets you apart from the ordinary. Silk ties are delicate items and proper care is essential to ensure that they last a lifetime.
There’s a lot of speculation regarding the best ways to provide this care, but there are a few simple rules you can follow that ensure that your silk neck tie has a long and happy life.
As part of our commitment to ensuring all of our products can be passed down to future generations, we've pulled together the definitive list of these rules for you to follow.
1. How to untie a tie
Much has been written about how to tie a neck tie, but when it comes to caring for your silk tie, one of the most important factors is that you always untie it properly.
- Never leave the tie knotted when not in use. This will create permanent creases in your tie fabric that will leave it looking disheveled and limp.
- Always untie your tie knot by reversing the method used to tie it. This takes longer, but continually pulling the small tail blade through the knot will pull the silk out of shape.
- After untying, always hang the tie over a coat hangar or tie rack. Draping them over the nearest chair may be convenient, but it will wrinkle and crease the tie.
2. How to store a tie
Silk ties can be stored loosely rolled or hung.
- Do not store ties folded or leave them crumpled, as they wrinkle very easily.
- Roll ties from the small tip first and keep the furl very loose to avoid creasing.
- When it comes to hanging your silk tie, using a coat hanger or tie rack will take up the least space. It’s also better for silk ties to be stored this way as it allows gravity to act on the natural fibres and gently pull out any wrinkles.
- As a natural fibre, silk will fade and eventually be damaged by exposure to sunlight, so however you choose to store your silk tie, ensure it's in a cool, dark place like a wardrobe.
3. How to pack a tie
Ensuring your silk tie is not spoiled whilst travelling is another frequent challenge.
- The best way of transporting ties is in a tie case that holds them flat and secure. These are not expensive, but take up additional room, which is often critical when travelling e.g. flying with carry on luggage only.
- We've found a more practical method is to fold the tie gently into four and carefully place it in another piece of luggage, such as the inside pocket of your suit jacket, or inside your shoes.
- When you arrive at your destination, remove your tie and let it hang overnight before wearing to allow any wrinkles to relax.
4. How to remove wrinkles from a tie
Despite all you best efforts, it's likely that wrinkles will form around the fabric where the knot is made.
- Given how delicate silk is, it’s best if left hung up to let gravity do its work. Small wrinkles tend to fade away in the fabric if it gets the proper time to recover as the material has a beautiful intrinsic quality of relaxing and smoothing itself out.
- To remove more stubborn wrinkles we highly recommend you purchase a small hand steamer and gently steam away the wrinkles. Alternatively, you can hang the tie in the bathroom whilst you shower so the steam created can help the fibres relax.
- It is best to avoid ironing neckties because irons are likely to scorch or discolour silk ties. If you must iron your tie, place a towel beneath the tie, cover the tie with another towel, slightly dampened, and use the lowest temperature setting on your iron. Allow the towels to dry before lifting them from the silk tie.
5. How to clean a silk tie
Acting quickly is the key to successfully remove stains from a silk neck tie.
- Remember to always blot or dab a stain, never rub it, as this will just spread the stain on the tie, making it more stubborn to remove.
- Remove water based stains immediately by dipping a clean cloth in a little sparkling water or tonic water and use it to gently dab away what you can.
- If the stain contains grease or oil, sprinkle a little talcum powder or cornstarch on it as soon as possible. Leave it overnight to absorb as much of the stain as possible before carefully brushing away it off with a clean soft cloth. Depending on the stain, you may need to repeat this process once or twice more to completely lift the stain.
- For serious stains, you'll need to take the tie to a dry cleaner you trust and tell them to use the gentlest chemicals they have to try and lift the stain. Also note that dry cleaners will typically press ties flat using their steaming machines. In order to preserve those wonderful rolled edges, always remember to ask the dry cleaner to hand press the neck tie.
Special note - tie clips and tie tacks
Clips and tacks are great at holding your tie in place, but aren't the kindest to silk ties so you need to take special precautions.
- Remove tie clips immediately after wearing to avoid the clip leaving a lasting crease in the tie.
- Tie tacks can create holes in silk neckties that can remain forever and disfigure the tie. A simple way to prevent these tiny holes is to insert the tie tack on the back of your tie through the label or keeper loop then attach it to your shirt. This will still keep your tie in place and will not leave any holes in the front blade of the tie.