Vintage Tie Patterns from the 1950s – Found in Como, Italy
Last week I traveled to the Como, Italy in search of new tie designs, high-end fabrics, and skilled tailors. If you ask yourself why Como and not China, then the simple answer is that I was looking for superior quality and excellent design. Como has always been famous for silk production ever since Italian monks smuggled silk worms from China in the 5th century to this mountainous region of northern Italy. The climate was just right to grow mulberry leaves – the food silk worms need in order to produce this sought after thread (For more info, you may also want to read my article on Tie Fabrics).
While the actual production of silk has gone back to China (mainly because of cost reasons), Como still produces silk fabrics. The raw silk is now imported, and the Italian do their magic in terms of colors, designs, and unique fabric weaves. While in Italy I visited eight of the world’s most famous silk fabric mills and designers, some of which supply fabrics for brands such as Brioni, Zegna, Marinella, Kiton, Brooks Brothers, and several others. One company I especially enjoyed meeting with was BBC Jacquard. Their sales consultant Marcello Scebanti not only showed me their entire current collection, encompassing close to a thousand different designs and fabric weaves, but he also gave me access to one of the company’s most valued treasures: their design archives that stores thousands of original fabric designs from 1903 till today. Below are pictures I took from their design book from 1954.
Quite common for tie designs from the mid century were geometric patterns which today’s design world often refers to graphic prints. Today these patterns are not found on neckties, but more commonly seen on floor tiles, wall paper, and other house furnishings. While rare on neckties today, I think that these patterns will be coming back into the world of ties sooner than later.
Another design pattern I especially liked from the design book from 1954. T combination of colors and geometric pattern is just perfect. I asked Marcello if they could re-produce this design, and he said that modern looms are too fast to produce some of the old designs, something I found quite interesting.
This was my favorite among the hundred+ designs from the book from 1956. The color is perfect, and the design is truly unique. If anyone knows where to find this actual fabric (or even better an actual tie with this design), please comment below.
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Tie Aficionado and Founder of Tie-a-Tie.net