Grenadine Garza Grossa Silk Uncovered

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Today is the third anniversary of the first post on Bond Suits, 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 it even makes an appearance in 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 Fermo Fossati garza grossa grenadine 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 for slightly different effects. Drakes—along with most manufacturers—use the side illustrated here, whilst Turnbull & Asser makes their grenadine ties using the other side. This is mostly because they source their grenadine silk from different manufacturers. Drakes gets their grenadine silk from Fermo Fossati while Turnbull & Asser mostly uses grenadine from Seteria Bianchi. Bianchi considers the reverse side to be the right side, though the garza grossa grenadine silk they both weave is hardly distinguishable from each other.

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 has only worn the type of grenadine featured here, garza grossa.

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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