My new post ‘Fall’s Ties: Wool Challis & Ancient Madder’ is up at No Man Walks Alone. The two tie types are perfect for the seasons’ cooler weather and muted tones:
There are two classic neckties that do just that for fall and winter: ancient madder and wool challis. Each has a softer hand than most year-‘round ties with a dusty, muted appearance, easily blending with the autumn palette. Both are beautifully at home with a cold weather kit of tweeds, cords, and tattersall shirts, but they are still refined enough to dress up with flannel suits.
They hearken back to 19th C England, and the designs were blocked by hand until only a few years ago:
The designs traditionally used on both fabrics are paisleys and neats, from geometrics to pines. Wool challis will not infrequently feature equestrian and hunting themed designs as well. Many of these designs were produced by David Evans & Co. which stood as an iconic name in English silk and hand blocking for a century and a half, until the factory’s closing in 2002.
Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for classic examples, although wool challis seems to be particularly yummy to moths. Pictured is a tie dating from at least the 1960s, maybe much earlier, with a classic pedigree. Alas, it was not in good enough shape to take home.
Head on over to No Man Walks Alone to read all about it, then go buy some ties.