Knit tie semantics


September 12, 2014 by Ville Raivio

As the very name implies, the knit tie is a tube-like tie made from knitted material. Most of the ties available is stores  — and likely hanging in the reader’s wardrobe — are either woven or printed. On the whole, these acessories have a smooth, uniform and otherwise presentable surface, while the face of knitted ties is porous, ridgelike, uneven. On closer inspection, the yarn loops resemble those used in knitwear. Most knit ties have no lining, and neither are they cut and sewn from several pieces like regular ties. The reference-friendly Esquire’s Encyclopedia of 20th Century Men’s Fashions tells us that the first knit ties were born in the 1920s.


In The United States, knit ties were very popular on Wall Street and among the league of Ivy universities. Thanks to its casual air, this tie is still an essential sight on the necks of Ivy addicts, particularly in black. The tie can be created with a very dense knit, leading to smoother and smarter garments, or loosely with rough knit, always a sporty choice. Colours and materials for knitted ties have no restrictions, though cotton versions are cooler around the neck in summer, while a thicker silk or wool-silk blend brings a layer of warmth in winter. The best-known knit tie man is no other than James Bond, whose neck has worn these accessories most always in navy blue or black, unpatterned.

The greater part of knit ties are either horisontally striped or single-coloured, and the latter raise texture or the shape of the knit in leading role. Unlike the average tie, knit ties usually have straight tips, as if cut with a knife. The tips are also narrower than those on knitted or printed ties, usually just 6 cm wide. This great narrowness looks odd on the heavy-set man, but the problem is solved by hiding the tie under a jacket. Woven and printed ties are discreet and formal, but any knit tie is always more casual due to its texture and narrow form. It is doubtably in best use in stock company board meetings, funerals or ceremonial occasions, but in all other places it bridges the gap between formal and informal. Quite the devil.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Only a beautiful life is worth living.

"If John Bull turns around to look at you, you are not well dressed; but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable".
~ Beau Brummell