Grenadine Silk Uncovered

10

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)
Click for a larger image

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.

Drakes on the left, using the right side of the silk, and Turnbull & Asser on the right, using the wrong side of the silk
Drakes on the left, using the right side of the silk, and Turnbull & Asser on the right, using the wrong side of the silk

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.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Matt,

    How would I know by looking (with my untrained eye) at a grenadine tie which variety it was; garza groza or garza fina? I have only one grenadine tie – mid grey – which I have yet to wear but I am having a mid grey Hayward suit which I got on E bay a few months ago tweaked by my tailor to fit me and when that’s done it’ll be given its inaugural outing!

      • Thanks Matt. I’ve just looked at mine and it’s got the same appearance as the Drakes one. Bizarre that an outfit of such renown as T&A would use the incorrect side and for so long too.

  2. I have a garza fina from Budd in the Picadilly Arcade (opposite T&A), in purple. I would be interested in your fina diagram.

  3. Grenadines really are wonderful ties, and I have ordered three over the last couple of years from Sam Hober. The ties from Hober are excellent and custom, and the never fail to get compliments as most people are unfamiliar with them.

  4. I much prefer garza grossa grenadine. It immediatly adds panache to an outfit, but in a subtle and discreet way, one has to be close to you to see that it’s not just a simple, common navy tie.
    About Drake’s ties, they seem to have a flaw. I own two of them and on both, the end of the narrowest blade isn’t symetrical. I wonder if some of the commenters here have the same problem ?

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