A staple of the Connery James Bond wardrobe is the dark solid tie. In Dr. No and From Russia With Love that tie was always a dark navy grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser. Let’s not confuse that with the knitted silk ties that he wears throughout Goldfinger. While the grenadine might look similar in texture to the knit tie, they are completely unrelated. I’m sure you’re familiar with the knitted tie, which somewhat resembles a sock. It’s a tube of knitted silk with a straight hem at the bottom, though some are made with triangular bottoms. The knitted tie is a casual tie (which might seem like an oxymoron these days) and disliked by many. Yet the literary James Bond wears it, and the film Bond occasionally wears it as well.
But for now we will discuss the grenadine tie. Grenadine silk is woven, not knitted, in a gauze or leno weave. The weave is very open yet very stable. Whilst in typical weaves the yarns go over and under each other, the grenadine weave adds a third dimension to the weave by having warp yarns also twist around weft yarns. The grenadine tie is constructed like any normal tie: it has folds, an interlining and, of course, a triangular tip. It’s a luxurious silk, very delicate and much more formal than a knitted tie. In black it makes an excellent funeral tie, and this is exactly what James Bond wears to the funeral at the beginning of Thunderball.
I know of two weavers of grenadine silk, Fermo Fossati and Seteria Bianchi, both in Italy. Most of the grenadine tie makers get their silk from these weavers. There mainly are two different types of grenadine silk: garza grossa (the large weave pictured above) and garza fina (the smaller weave pictured below left), the former being the only type that James Bond wore. Turnbull & Asser still sells garza grossa grenadine ties, and they can also be found at many other stores on Jermyn Street and elsewhere. Turnbull & Asser, as well as a few other shops, sell grenadine ties using the wrong side of the silk, which really brings out the texture in the weave. You may also find “mock” grenadine (below right), which can still be very nice.
Sean Connery wears grenadine ties in all of his James Bond films except Goldfinger. When Roger Moore brings traditional English clothing back to the Bond series in For Your Eyes Only, he also brings back the grenadine tie with one suit.