True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

Cleaning and restoring your silk ties

Hermes necktieThe internet is awash in "professional advice" on the subject of cleaning and restoring your silk ties.

The most comical demonstration of tie cleaning is a series of 5 short videos I found on ehow.com. If you've ever wondered why ordinary cleaners destroy your silk ties, click here.

On a more serious note, Simon Crompton, author of the blog Permanent Style, penned the most succinct description of the issues associated with cleaning ties that I have yet come across. This is what he had to say ...

"Ties are not easy to clean.

Those made of silk, at least, are very delicate things. They are carefully folded lengths of volatile material that are sewn together with loose, sparse stitches - to allow room for the silk to flow, to stretch and to play.

They do not take kindly to Bolognese.

However, if cleaned properly, most stains can be removed, provided the soiled tie has not sat for weeks in the back of your wardrobe. The problem is, not many dry cleaners have the requisite machinery to press and roll the tie back into its original shape. The difficulty is not with cleaning the silk; it is with retaining that delicate, flowing handwork."

The takeaway from this comment is that skilled handwork is critical to producing great results.

Take this Hermes silk tie that we just cleaned as an example. When we examined the tie, we noticed the following "defects":

  • the tie was stained (numerous food stains and body oil from the chin)
  • the tie was heavily wrinkled and stretched in the area where the knot had been tied
  • the edges of the tie had been pressed flat and exhibited a razor sharp edge and seam impressions.

So what to do?

We consulted with our client and agreed on the following restoration regimen:

  • disassemble the tie into its component parts
  • hand-clean the component parts
  • hand-press the component parts
  • reconstruct the tie.

The following photos show the tie after cleaning but prior to reconstruction:

Deconstr silk tie 1876 Deconstr silk tie 1877
Deconstr silk tie 1879

 

The following photos show the tie after reconstruction:

Final silk tie 2272 Deconstr silk tie 1880
Final silk tie 2282 Final silk tie 2283
Final silk tie 2274 Final silk tie 2273

 

Notice the following on the final product:

  • the tie is completely stain free
  • the edges of the tie are softly rolled
  • the tip of the tie is perfectly centered.

While not every tie requires deconstruction, hand-cleaning, hand-pressing and reconstruction - a relatively expensive proposition - excellent results are achievable. You just have to know how.

Our silk tie cleaning service starts at $22.50 per tie. Remember that we ship ties nationwide through our Nationwide Clean By Mail Service. Which means we're as close as your front door.

How can I help you?

Note: Any appearance of yellowing on this black and white tie is a result of poor lighting in my makeshift "photographic studio."


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