Monday, July 9, 2012

Ah, neckties...

Ah, neckties-- that wonderful playground of men's fashion.  I was told that they were a derivation of the codpiece.  Look down.

This story seemed plausible because the current shape is so phallic, but this was not borne out by research.  While people have tied things around their necks for millennia,

Terracotta Warriors from Tomb of Chinese Emperor Qin Shih-Huang, 221 BC

...the European fascination with brightly colored cloth about the neck stems from the Croatian military uniform of the mid 17th century.  Courtiers of Louis XIV admired the red tie and the cravat was born. 

Because ties are colorful, durable and ubiquitous, they are also a favorite material of upcyclers.  There is, of course, the by now iconic ascot from Ginger Root Design (OK-- iconic among DC indie fashionistas) 

See more by Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson at 

Here are some other uses I've come across:  Johnnie Gins, a wonderful local textile artist sells these woven wall-hangings at Waygoose Redux in Bethesda (

She has a really lovely color-sense.

Kristina Bilonick gives new life to ties by silkscreening her own designs on them:

Woman Cyclist, Nails and Magician ties

See more at her Georgia Avenue shop and at

I came across Yanina Angelina and her many tie creations at Artomatic.  She sells her works on-line at  Here's a sample:

I, for some reason, like to burn holes in ties.

And here's an excellent T-shirt from the Performing Arts Training Studio ( that I revamped with a tie:
When your life no longer fits, change it.
 That could serve as the upcyclers motto.  Here are a few more from Etsy:
 Let me know of any more re-uses you've liked. 

1 comment:

  1. you're right there is so many things we can do with necktie! thank's for that space on your blog, this is where my universe is:
    i'm making a purse organizer with a necktie, on the blog soon
    have a nice day