What is grenadine Silk?

03 February 2018

"A grenadine tie adds a new dimension to your ensemble."

A grenadine tie adds a new dimension to your ensemble.

To an appreciative eye, small things make for the biggest impression. Not everyone will spot your choice to wear a tie of grenadine silk; but for those who do, there is the palpable thrill in identifying that you have chosen one of the most interesting, yet elusive of tie fabrics.

It is the gauze-like weave of grenadine that lends it a three-dimensional, uniformly textured surface. Superficially it is reminiscent of a knitted tie, yet its finer weave complements more formal outfits and finishes in the traditional triangular tip, rather than the knitted tie’s squared cut.

The rareness with which grenadine may be spotted on a sartorially elegant man is a result of scarcity – much of the world’s genuine grenadine is created by just two manufacturers in Como, Italy. The complicated and time-intensive weaving process means that grenadine is perpetually in short supply; therefore, a relatively more expensive option to purchase, but also more highly coveted.

Grenadine is woven, not knitted. In what is known as a leno weave, the warp and weft yarns not only go over and under one another, but also have warp yarns that cross over each other. The latter element lends grenadine its fascinating three-dimensional surfacing, as well as lightness, breathability and shape-holding resilience.

Grenadine may be woven either in a large gauze pattern (known by its Italian name, ‘garza grossa’) or small gauze (‘garza fina’), each referring to the tightness of the weave. The former is more sartorially adventurous and tactile. The garza grossa style was favoured for Sean Connery’s appearance as James Bond in To Russia With Love, in which he sported a solid navy grenadine tie. Meanwhile, a tie in garza fina weave is regarded as a safer option for classic suiting; examples in plain black, for instance, are an exceptional addition to a wedding ensemble.

Grenadine ties may be manufactured without lining – making the open weave lightly transparent for an edgier, more raw appearance. The majority, however, are created with a wool interlining that is dyed the same colour as the grenadine silk for a more conservative look.

While the technicality of its fabric might seem daunting; the grenadine tie is relatively simple to incorporate into most suit ensembles, and can even be styled with a more casual approach – light-coloured odd jackets paired alongside darker-shade trousers work just as well together.

"To highlight their naturally fascinating texture, most grenadine ties are created in solid, reliable colours such as navy, burgundy, black or brown."

To highlight their naturally fascinating texture, most grenadine ties are created in solid, reliable colours such as navy, burgundy, black or brown. Some grenadine ties might even feature a light stripe or pattern but either way – for the stylistically inclined – they are rather unchallenging to match with solid-coloured jackets and shirts or even add an appealing finishing touch to pinstripes or windowpane check in complementary colours.

A further advantage comes when knotting the tie – the more open texture of grenadine acts like an anti-slip mechanism, lending the sort of depth and width to a standard four-in-hand knot that can usually only be achieved in a silk tie by tying a Windsor or Balthus knot.  

Lightweight, breathable and always intriguing, the grenadine is a tie to seek out for suited men ready to take their sartorial journey to the next dimension.

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