Neckties are, and always will be, a classic style and fashion statement. It can dress up almost any look, unless we’re talking about your Hawaii Shirt and Shorts. That’s even a task too big for the necktie. For all your formal or semi-formal events however, a necktie is a lifesaver. But if your tie gets stained or otherwise disheveled, you’ll quickly end up looking sloppy, no matter how formal the rest of your outfit may be. If you’d like your necktie to perform at its very best, and support you (or your shirt collar) throughout the years, you must make sure to care for it properly. This guide will take you whole everything you need to know in order to care for neckties made of silk, wool, cotton, microfibre and more.
With this guide in hand, you’ll never need to worry about the maintenance of your necktie ever again.
Do the everyday maintenance – the right way
When you get home from a long day at the office, you probably want to pull off your tie as quickly as possible – if you haven’t already removed it on your way home. Instead of just pulling it off like a cheap piece of cloth, remove it properly – it can make all the difference. If you forcefully yank your tie through the knot, you run the risk of ruining the shape of the tie. Instead, loosen the knot before removing, and consider reversing the steps you took when tying it.
Another no-go is leaving the knots in your ties when not in use. This is a sure way to create permanent creases in your tie that will leave your tie looking rumpled and limp forever.
The right way of storing of your ties
Ties are quite delicate things. They tend to be disfigured easily. After you gently removed your tie, do it (and yourself) the favour to hang it up immediately in order to help the creases from your knot to fall out. Though rolling your ties and placing them in a drawer doesn’t necessarily damage them, in the long term, draping your ties on a tie rack, or hanger, will better retain its form and reduce wrinkling.
The exception to this rule is square-tipped knit ties. These ties fare better being rolled up loosely and stored, but that’s the only exception really.
Cleaning of your ties – the right way
Unlike the rest of the laundry you have, it is always best to avoid cleaning a tie unless you really have no other options. Washing ties is a risky game to play due to the delicate fabrics and meticulous stitching. If you however are careful and attentive to the needs of your necktie, then everything should go smoothly. While some people will tell you that some neckties can be machine washed and machine dried, that’s really just wishful thinking.
Ties should always either be washed by hand or dry cleaned – depending on the material. We also recommend air drying your ties in all cases. Do not ever feel tempted to tumble dry them, or you may damage the integrity of the shell or lining with no turning back. Follow the information below for the best possible results.
Silk is among one of the world’s most luxurious materials. It is a natural protein fibre produced by insects and cultivated most commonly in China and India. It is one of the finest fabrics in the world, and also one of the most difficult to clean. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Wool is a natural fibre produced by sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. Wool is very soft and highly insulating, but it requires a decent amount of care to remain in mint condition.
Linen is a fibre made from the flax plant. Though labor-intensive to make, the fabric is extremely light and breathable. Linen is a go-to fabric for hot weather, and make for an ideal choice for spring and summer. Linen is extremely prone to wrinkling, so extra care should be taken when hanging ties made of Linen on a tie rack whenever they are not being cleaned or worn.
Cotton fibres derive from the cotton plant. Cotton is a very durable material and dries quickly. However, it also wrinkles easily and will shrink when introduced to heat, so be careful.
Seersucker is a material that was originally created in India and named for its unique texture, said to resemble the smoothness of milk and the roughness of sugar. The fabric is lightweight, typically made from cotton, and is easy to care for.
Knit ties are crafted with 100% durable microfibres, and adds an unique, contemporary, and classic edge to your outfit.
Microfibre is a synthetic fibre that is very elastic and known for its moisture-wicking capabilities. Microfibre ties are very soft to the touch, and similar to silk–but much easier to clean.
Polyester is a synthetic material that has similarities to cotton, but actually is even more durable. It is wrinkle-resistant, water-resistant, quick to dry, and it will not shrink.
Removing wrinkles and stains from your tie – the right way
Cleaning a stain from a tie is neither fun nor easy. Always exercise caution when wearing a tie to avoid accidents in the first place. If you do get a stain however, act as quickly as possible. Blot the stain on your tie with a cloth immediately — never try to rub it out, though, as that will make the stain harder to remove. If the stain is water-soluble, use seltzer water or club soda on the tie as you are blotting it.
If the stain is oil-based, apply talcum powder or cornstarch immediately to lift the stain off the tie. Let the powder sit for a few hours and then brush it off, and clean with a soft cloth. Depending on the stain, you may need to repeat this process one or two more times to completely lift the stain. If you have tried all of these steps and the pesky stain is still hanging around, then take it to the dry cleaners. Just make sure to specifically ask that they do not press your ties, which can cause their rolled edges to flatten and lose its shape.
Packing your ties – the right way
When traveling with your neckties, always make sure to pack them by rolling, not folding. Roll your ties starting with the small end first, and individually bag them with Ziplock bags. Then, place them in packed shoes so that they are safely buckled up for the journey. When you arrive at your destination and the ties are wrinkled, just hang them in your bathroom and run a hot shower–steam and gravity will work its wonders.
When properly cared for, a quality necktie can last a lifetime.
Follow these steps, take all the necessary precautions, and you’ll be looking your best for years to come.