Wool challis (pronounced like shalee) is a wonderful soft light fabric. It is often seen in the cooler months as ties and scarves. The scarf above measures a generous 19”x70” and hand rolled edges that took about four hours to complete. Wear it with a blazer or topcoat to keep warm in the coming months. (at LouisWalton)

Wool challis (pronounced like shalee) is a wonderful soft light fabric. It is often seen in the cooler months as ties and scarves. The scarf above measures a generous 19”x70” and hand rolled edges that took about four hours to complete. Wear it with a blazer or topcoat to keep warm in the coming months. (at LouisWalton)

How to make a bow tie


What goes into a quality bow tie? It is surprisingly simple. Start with quality fabric of the correct weight. Fabric is important because it effects how the knot will dimple and bow folds on the ends. The lining can help with this but heavy lining makes a stiff tie and a fat unappealing knot. It can also make the tie difficult to tie.

Woven silk bow ties are probably the easiest to make and printed silk presents the most problems. Printed silk is usually light weight, needs a great lining fabric, and will tie a huge floppy bow with a tiny knot if it is tied wrong. The best tie makers address this problem by using heavier silk, as much as 36oz, that will hold the shape without being bulky. The only problem with 36oz fabric is that it is VERY expensive so you will not see it very often or at a price that will not make you scream. And the more colors printed on it the more expensive it is.

All ties are cut on the bias, at a 45 degree angle to the edge of the fabric, but I think this is even more important for bow ties. The little bit of stretch that comes from the bias cut is just enough to tighten the bow and have it stay without getting loose. All pieces, including the lining, should be cut on the bias.

Lining fabric is the easiest part. Just pick something that gives the right feel to the tie. I use cotton a lot but I have also used heavy silk. Then create a pattern that is symmetric and proportional.

The last thing worth mentioning is the pressing of the sewn tie pieces. I think pressing could be the most misunderstood part of construction. It is how fabric is shrunk, shaped, creased. There is no substitute for knowing how to press. After the pieces are sewn they look like tubes. If silk is pressed with too much heat it shines. Even worse, an indentation from the seam can be pressed into the fabric. In bow ties, if you see a raised border along the edge of the tie it was not pressed correctly. Either too much heat or too much pressure was used.

So that’s it. Not difficult, just takes patience and a commitment to use the best materials.

The Six Fold Tie. The idea that six or seven folds means quality is not completely true. A six fold tie has to be folded so that each of the folded layers reaches the edge of the tie. If it doesn’t, the tie knot will have edges that curl up when it is pulled taught. For that reason, a well made three fold tie looks and draped much better than a poorly made six or seven fold tie. 

So how do you know what to look for?  On the internet it is impossible to tell the difference from pictures. Pictures like the one above are used to market six and seven folds.  But you can’t see if each fold goes along the entire length of the tie and if they span the width. So online go with a maker who has a well deserved reputation for consistency and quality. When in a shop, feel the tie to make sure the tie has uniform thickness across the width and length. Especially in the length of fabric where the knot is formed.

The Six Fold Tie. The idea that six or seven folds means quality is not completely true. A six fold tie has to be folded so that each of the folded layers reaches the edge of the tie. If it doesn’t, the tie knot will have edges that curl up when it is pulled taught. For that reason, a well made three fold tie looks and draped much better than a poorly made six or seven fold tie. So how do you know what to look for? On the internet it is impossible to tell the difference from pictures. Pictures like the one above are used to market six and seven folds. But you can’t see if each fold goes along the entire length of the tie and if they span the width. So online go with a maker who has a well deserved reputation for consistency and quality. When in a shop, feel the tie to make sure the tie has uniform thickness across the width and length. Especially in the length of fabric where the knot is formed.

I took some time off to explore some opportunities and it is very nice to be back on Tumblr again.  My scheduled has opened up and although I will not be opening up a website, I will be offering completed ties on etsy. The ties will almost all be unlined six-folds about 58” long and 3.5” wide. The best part, the price will be far below the usual price point for handmade six-fold ties.  if there is a downside, new pieces will appear when they are ready so I can’t guarantee there will be new ties each week or how many of each pattern will be available.  It is even possible that a leather wallet, portfolio, suspenders, or briefcase could appear.  It just depends on how much time I have and what the inspiration is for the week.

Louis Walton on Etsy

I took some time off to explore some opportunities and it is very nice to be back on Tumblr again. My scheduled has opened up and although I will not be opening up a website, I will be offering completed ties on etsy. The ties will almost all be unlined six-folds about 58” long and 3.5” wide. The best part, the price will be far below the usual price point for handmade six-fold ties. if there is a downside, new pieces will appear when they are ready so I can’t guarantee there will be new ties each week or how many of each pattern will be available. It is even possible that a leather wallet, portfolio, suspenders, or briefcase could appear. It just depends on how much time I have and what the inspiration is for the week.

Louis Walton on Etsy

The Louis Walton document holder.  It is leather lined and made completely by hand like all other leather goods I do. This piece adds original artwork by Mr. William Parr of www.blackandgoldsf.com. The painting is acrylic on canvas and is a perfect fit. In total, 30 hours of work by hand, six square feet of leather, and almost nine feet of saddle stitching to make a piece that will last a lifetime.

The Louis Walton document holder. It is leather lined and made completely by hand like all other leather goods I do. This piece adds original artwork by Mr. William Parr of www.blackandgoldsf.com. The painting is acrylic on canvas and is a perfect fit. In total, 30 hours of work by hand, six square feet of leather, and almost nine feet of saddle stitching to make a piece that will last a lifetime.

I am excited to work with this acrylic painting from BlackandGoldsf.com

I am excited to work with this acrylic painting from BlackandGoldsf.com

Check out the Louis Walton outlet page for special deals on reduced price items. It is accessible from the link below. www.louiswalton.com/collections/outlet #menswear #menstyle #leathergoods  (at www.louiswalton.com)

Check out the Louis Walton outlet page for special deals on reduced price items. It is accessible from the link below. www.louiswalton.com/collections/outlet #menswear #menstyle #leathergoods (at www.louiswalton.com)

brokeandbespoke:

Outtake.

brokeandbespoke:

Outtake.

brokeandbespoke:

Sorry for the late post today. Them’s the breaks when one leaves their computer at home these days. On the bright side, I got more compliments on my tie today than normal. It’s not hard to see why—it’s a beautiful Louis Walton handsewn three-fold in a large scale repp stripe, courtesy of the man himself. 

brokeandbespoke:

Sorry for the late post today. Them’s the breaks when one leaves their computer at home these days. On the bright side, I got more compliments on my tie today than normal. It’s not hard to see why—it’s a beautiful Louis Walton handsewn three-fold in a large scale repp stripe, courtesy of the man himself. 

fromsqualortoballer:

At the last San Francisco menswear meetup I had the opportunity to catch up with Gregory Walton, the man behind the brand Louis Walton. Greg currently makes custom ties, pocket squares, scarves, and leather goods in the vault level of Wingtip. Anyway, during our conversation he keenly noted that I was still using the nylon factory strap on my new camera, which, needless to say, is a big faux pas in the blogging scene. Not only was Greg polite enough to overlook my folly, but he later messaged me and told me to come swing by the shop and pick up a custom strap, free of charge. Apparently, Greg has the same camera as I do, and used my sartorial misstep as motivation to finish a project he had started. It was a lovely gift from a thoughtful person - anyone who has met Greg knows exactly what I’m talking about. 
The wrist strap is made entirely by hand from lovely chestnut bridle leather. Even the interior lining is leather, which is an area where most people would skimp. Greg’s small business began with ties, but it should come as no surprise that his small leather goods are becoming popular with some of Wingtip’s clients. If you are in the San Francisco area I suggest that you stop in and take a look around next time you’re in the neighborhood.
Oh, and for those that are wondering - the camera above is the Canon EOS-M with the 22mm f/2 lens. You’d better believe I scooped up one of these little guys when the price tanked to under $300 a few months ago.

fromsqualortoballer:

At the last San Francisco menswear meetup I had the opportunity to catch up with Gregory Walton, the man behind the brand Louis Walton. Greg currently makes custom ties, pocket squares, scarves, and leather goods in the vault level of Wingtip. Anyway, during our conversation he keenly noted that I was still using the nylon factory strap on my new camera, which, needless to say, is a big faux pas in the blogging scene. Not only was Greg polite enough to overlook my folly, but he later messaged me and told me to come swing by the shop and pick up a custom strap, free of charge. Apparently, Greg has the same camera as I do, and used my sartorial misstep as motivation to finish a project he had started. It was a lovely gift from a thoughtful person - anyone who has met Greg knows exactly what I’m talking about. 

The wrist strap is made entirely by hand from lovely chestnut bridle leather. Even the interior lining is leather, which is an area where most people would skimp. Greg’s small business began with ties, but it should come as no surprise that his small leather goods are becoming popular with some of Wingtip’s clients. If you are in the San Francisco area I suggest that you stop in and take a look around next time you’re in the neighborhood.

Oh, and for those that are wondering - the camera above is the Canon EOS-M with the 22mm f/2 lens. You’d better believe I scooped up one of these little guys when the price tanked to under $300 a few months ago.