Today taking a look of a Bespoke tie made by Italian Arcuri Cravatte. In terms of ties word bespoke is pretty much the same than made-to-order. I got a chance to try "bespoke tie service" by Linkson Jack and Arcuri Cravatte. What is this bespoke tie service all about?
After receiving the offer from Linkson I decided to take the chance. A couple weeks ago my new bespoke tie was delivered. Now as I've already got few chances to wear it, it's time to take a little closer look.
First few words about grenadine ties. This type of ties are produced with a complex weave which creates a beautiful, variegated texture.
In general there are two types of grenadine - garza grossa (large weave) and garza fina (fine weave). Most of the world's grenadine is made by an Italian mill, Fermo Fossati. The cloth is made by old shuttle looms that still weave stuff that even cannot be made with modern high-speed equipment.
Grenadine ties in solid colors (e.g black, bottle green, burgundy, dark brown or navy blue) are staples. They should be found from every man's wardrobe. In some instances it's even been said that in case a man were to have but one necktie in his wardrobe, it should be a black silk grenadine. Personally I would opt for navy blue. Grenadine's texture gives it visual and aesthetic interest despite its (usual) subdued coloring. These features makes it easy to wear almost with anything.
Arcuri Cravatte - ties made in ItalyArcuri Cravatte is a small Italian company specialized only in ties. The company is run by Franco Arcuri who in fact didn't start his professional career as a tie maker but as a business consultant. Fracon's wife is responsible for the quality control of the products. All ties are handmade in Calabria, Southern Italy. They make ready-to-wear ties as well as bespoke ties that are made based on spesific orders.
Arcuri Cravatte - "Bespoke tie service"
As mentioned, the opportunity I was given was to take and try the new "bespoke tie service" by Linkson Jack. What this basically means is that the tie was made exactly to my choices in terms of materials, color, construction and details.
1) Material and color
Before making the order there are basically seven or eight choices to make. First of all I needed to make up my mind in terms of material and color. I've been longing for a navy blue grenadine for quite a while. Therefore I decided that now would be a good time to put that part of my collection in order.
Secondly one needs to consider the amount of folds. For Arcuri ties 3 fold is a standard. Another options are to make the tie with five or six fold-construction. Folding happens after the fabric for a tie has been cut. Even though the effect of having more folds can be debated, in general additional folds add weight and drape to the tie. Sometimes it can be necessary to add body to a tie, especially in case the fabric that is used is very thin. In terms of grenadine more folds can in some cases make the tie to be a bit too bulky. Especially if the tie is made by using large weave grenadine and interlining.
Moreover, tie's quality can never strictly be inferred just from the number of folds. However in genereal ties with five folds or more are more difficult to make. They require more material and skill as they are usually made by hand. Thus they are appreciated and feature higher price tags.
In terms of folds I was first going for 6 but finally ended up with 5. Five fold is actually something you don't see that often and which in my opinion in a way combines the positive sides of different options. Especially as I decided to go with no interlining. The tie stays neat and thin without being too plump but you can still see and feel the craftsmanship when taking a closer look.
3) Length & Width
Length and width of a tie are more just questions of a personal preference. Most ready-to-wear ties are around 147cm in lenght. In the options offered by Linkson 136-155cm are considered as standard. In terms of width most ties varies from 7,5cm-9,0cm. Regarding width my personal preference is around 8,5cm which I actually consider to be the most classic width as well.
It's all about your own build and proportions. But when talking about grenadine or actually any other than knitted ties I think no one should ever go under 7,5cm in terms of width. Sometimes it can be really hard to find the width you are particularly looking for. In that case a bespoke tie can be just the right option.
Interlining is the part that comprises the "body" of most ties. Usually it is made of wool or wool blend fabric. Interlining is the part on which the so called envelope or shell (the visible fabric) of a tie is folded over. Interlining helps the tie to keep its shape, drape on the wearer, and shake out wrinkles after it has been worn. In some cases tie has no interlining, hence it may need to be folded more than three times to give the tie some more "body" and structure. In terms of grenadine ties it also good to keep in mind that with large weave (garza grossa) you may need and want some interlining to avoid your shirt to be visible through the loose weave of the tie.
I personally don't have too many unlined ties so in this case I wanted to give that a try. This was also to keep the tie in balance considering the material (fine weave grenadine) and construction (5/6-fold) already chosen. Being unlined also in my opinion gives the tie a bit more casual, slouchy feeling making it suitable for more laid-back summer combinations in addition to the formal and business occasions.
"Tipping" is the material that's used to finish the backside of the tie's lower end. In most of ties this part is machine-stitched on and typically goes up about 8-10cm but can in some cases run even higher, though it's not desirable. If a tie is said to be "self-tipped", it means the tip is made from the same material shell itself has been cut from.
Third option is the tie to be "untipped", which means that you will see no extra fabric in addition to the shell. In this case the edges of a tie can either be sewn flat or hand rolled and hand sewn, which of course will give the tie a much more nice touch and finish.
In my case, again considering the choices stated, I ended up having my piece "untipped".
Finally there's only one choice to make and that's whether or not to have a so-called "keeper". Keeper is the band of fabric in the back that will keep your back blade in place. Even though the trend at the moment seems to be having your back blade visible (and in some cases intentionally a bit longer than the front) it won't really make a big difference in the look of your tie to have the keeper, just in case.
Sum up - what is the bespoke tie service all about?
First of all it needs to be said that I'm not really a pro or an expert when it comes to the construction issues of clothing. Or some detailed features of fabrics for example. However I dare to say that I already have quite a bit of experience regarding different brands, products, and ways of making the products. I think Franco Arcuri actually has said it nicely by referring to so called "feel good factor". This means that the most important thing you get is the experience and feeling of wearing an item, from the skin's contact with the fabric through to the combination of colors and patterns. This "feel good factor" is something I most often nowadays base my acquisitions. And based on that I also review this bespoke tie as well.
However in terms of ties and their quality there are few things I consider to be important. First of all is the knot, i.e how easy it is to tie a good looking knot. Of course this is also a question of your skills that can be improved but that put aside there are certain differences between different versions of ties. I basically always use either normal four-in-hand or the so-called double FiH. As you can partly see in the pics the bespoke tie by Arcuri is top notch in this feature. Despite the lightweight construction that can sometimes be a problem it's easy to tie, comes up with a beautiful knot, makes a nice dimple, stays nicely in balance and most importantly keeps the knot without coming loose during the day. Finally, it also returns to its original shape after wearing nicely, a feature that at least in my book (especially taking into consideration the grenadine fabric) is a one the most easily recognizable signs of a high-quality tie.
To conclude I could say that I was looking for a staple tie and through this bespoke tie service by Arcuri I definitely got one. Got one that will fill my needs in this category for a long time and got one that satisfies my "feel good factor".
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