Today is the third anniversary of the first post on The Suits of James Bond, the dinner suit in Dr. No. But I’d like to revisit another one of my early topics, the grenadine tie. The grenadine tie is a staple of Sean Connery’s Bond wardrobe and even made it to one of Roger Moore’s Bond films. Like I said in my original post, the grenadine tie is not a knit tie and is in no way related to the knit tie, despite the similar appearance. To further show what grenadine silk is, I created an illustration. I had some grenadine garza grossa swatches from Sam Hober and I put one under a microscope to pick it apart (with my eyes–no harm was done to the silk!). The swatch is much easier to see than an actual tie since it lets light through. Below is the result:
Grenadine garza grossa is a very complex weave. It’s a type of leno weave, in which the warp yarns are twisted around the weft yarns. It gives another dimension to the weave, which is why grenadine silk has so much texture. The twisting also gives strength to the cloth to make a very sturdy, yet open, cloth. There’s not as much space in the real grenadine silk as in my illustration; I’ve spread it apart to better illustrate the weave. Both sides of the silk can be used. Drakes—along with most manufacturers—use the side illustrated here, whilst Turnbull & Asser makes their grenadines using the wrong side. Since I don’t have a Turnbull & Asser grenadine tie from the 1960s I can’t say which side they were using when Connery was wearing them, but I have one from the 1970s and they were using the wrong side then.
I’ve also made an illustration for the grenadine garza fina weave, which you can now see here. Bond only wore the type of grenadine featured here, garza groza.
Click here to read my earlier post on grenadine ties.