Tips for Tie Care from Neckties.com
By Katharine Swan
A respectable selection of ties is an investment no one likes to take lightly – and nor should you. Your ties are a central part of your wardrobe, and should be treated with a level of care befitting their importance. Caring for your tie does not by necessity have to be expensive or tedious; most often, simply knowing tips and tricks such as how to store a tie and how to remove wrinkles can greatly extend the life of your ties.
Putting On and Taking Off Your Ties
Whether you are tying or untying a tie, it is important to do the task with the utmost care. Ties, especially silk ties, have a fairly fragile shape. Pulling too hard on one end of the tie can result in stretched fabric, buckled stitches, and a misshapen appearance.
Wearing Your Ties
No matter how much you like a tie, it is important to give it time to “rest” between uses. Wearing a tie for too many days in a row can deepen the wrinkles and creases caused by normal wear, making it more difficult to remove them. Although the most conscientious tie-wearer allows his ties to rest after each and every use, two days in a row is the absolute maximum for repetitive tie wearing.
Storing Your Ties
Although many people store ties by hanging them over a tie rack, this is not the best way to store your ties. When hung for a long period of time or beneath the weight of several or more ties, creases can develop, detracting from the appearance and function of your ties. Instead, store your ties in loose rolls by rolling each tie around your hand; this method of storing will prevent wrinkles from forming. If a tie has wrinkles in it from being worn, you can hang it for a couple of days to help the wrinkles fall out, but don’t forget to roll it up and put it away afterward! Most importantly, never store your ties with the knots still in them.
Traveling with Your Ties
If the way a tie is stored is so critical for maintaining its appearance, how should you care for your ties while traveling? Rolling your tie is still the best way to store it, as a tie folded flat in a suitcase may emerge with unsightly creases. Pack each rolled tie inside a sock – but make sure it is clean, as you don’t want your ties to end up smelling like feet!
Getting Rid of Wrinkles
Wrinkles can ruin a tie’s appearance. Thankfully, if wrinkles do develop, you have several options for removing them. Hanging a tie in the bathroom while you shower or holding it above a boiling pot of water are two cheap and easy ways to steam wrinkles out of your tie. However, be careful not to allow your tie to get wet, as water can ruin the shape and appearance of a tie – particularly a silk tie.
Another way to steam a tie is to buy a hand steamer. Some tie manufacturers recommend that you steam out the wrinkles with a hand steamer every couple of months, in order to preserve a like-new appearance.
You can also iron your ties – but be sure to cover each one with a cotton cloth first, never letting the iron touch the tie directly. Ironing a tie or having it professionally pressed are two very controversial methods of removing wrinkles. Many tie connoisseurs complain that these methods flatten out the rolled edges in a tie. However, other tie-wearers – and some manufacturers – recommend these methods as the most sure-fire way to care for your ties. As the choice may be one of personal preference, you may want to consult the manufacturer’s care instructions and/or test the method (or the cleaner) out on a less favored tie.
Protecting Your Tie from Spills and Stains
Nothing is more devastating than spilling on a favorite tie. However, stains and spills can be easy to remove if your tie has been treated with a special chemical that prevents liquids from soaking quickly into the fabric. Some ties come pre-treated; for those that don’t, fabric protection spray is available from many menswear retailers.
Cleaning Your Tie
No matter how carefully you maintain your ties, there will a come a time when they will need to be cleaned. Dry cleaners can be a touchy subject with tie-lovers, as many dislike having their ties pressed, but many menswear manufacturers recommend it as a method for caring for their ties. If you opt for dry cleaning, be sure to choose a cleaner who specializes in dry cleaning ties, particularly if you need to have a stain removed – you will be better pleased with the results if your tie is handled by someone who knows what he or she is doing.
Prolonging the Life of Your Tie
Caring for your tie could be compared to performing preventative maintenance on your car or your house: how you care for your tie now will directly affect the amount of life you get out of it. With just a little special attention, a tie’s like-new appearance and feel can be maintained for weeks, months, or even years. Protect your investment and prolong the enjoyment you get out of each tie!