As the saying goes, “the beauty of crystal is in its fragility”. With ties the same thing is true: they need attention to maintain their natural beauty (especially silk ties) over time. Untying them carefully each time you remove the knot, storing them correctly, ironing them or removing stains without damaging the fabric: these are often simple but key precautions to be able to wear them as long as possible.
First step: untying them correctly
One of the errors that is most frequently made is to remove the tie every evening by simply loosening the knot to get your head through, and then leaving it knotted, with the risk of wrinkling it and irreparably damaging the material. Instead, it’s important to untie the knot after each time you wear the tie, and to do it correctly: first of all, the tie needs to be loosened so that you can lift it over your head, then you must open it completely and, lastly, wrap it around your hand and leave it lying flat all night long. The following morning the wrinkles will be gone.
Iron it with care
Ironing correctly is also key to preserve the tie’s longevity and beauty. Silk is a delicate fabric, that requires special attention. To iron it you need a cotton or linen handkerchief (obviously clean), to place on top of the tie so that the iron doesn’t rest directly on the silk. Avoid passing the iron on the acute angles of the tie so that it doesn’t lose its shape or consistency. Be careful, however, about the folds: it’s best to treat them only with steam, without resting the iron on them, not even with the protection of the handkerchief. Lastly, you must remember that while cotton or wool ties can withstand higher temperatures, for those in silk it’s necessary to use only low temperatures. Often steam alone is enough to iron them: if you don’t have an iron, you can hang the silk tie directly on the bathtub after having run hot water.
How to store it?
To store the tie so that no wrinkles are created, it’s best to hang the tie or to lay if flat. Simple clothes hangers can be used, taking care to insert the tie along the horizontal axis and making sure that it doesn’t slip or that contact with other garments, accessories or pointed hangers doesn’t damage the material. It’s best to organize them intelligently, grouping together – for example – ties of the same color or those with a similar pattern, in order to find them more easily. Specific tie hangers can also be found on the market, composed of many small brackets.
It’s always advisable to place the hangers in a closet that’s not overly crowded, which allows for good air circulation and protection from sunlight, dust and humidity. Some closets come with special drawers that can be used to store rolled ties.
Quick and precise treatment of stains
And if the tie unfortunately gets dirty, what’s the best thing to do? The first rule is to remove the stain as quickly as possible: you must be rapid and precise in cleaning the fabric with a knife or napkin, making sure that the substance which has stained the tie doesn’t penetrate even more deeply. Too many maneuvers risk wrinkling and deforming the silk. It’s best to forget water and instead use denatured alcohol: it should be used to dab the stained area, which however must be dried immediately, to avoid the creation of a permanently shaded area. The operation should be repeated two or three times at the most. If you don’t have alcohol, if it is an oily stain, you can use talcum powder or corn starch: they should be poured onto the dirty area and left to act overnight. There are also specific stain removers, but it’s always a good idea to first test a little bit of the product on a small quantity of the surface to observe the result: indeed, stain removers often alter the color of the silk fabric.