Real Ancient Madder Silk Fabric for (Bow) Ties + Pocket Squares Explained

Real Ancient Madder Silk Fabric for (Bow) Ties + Pocket Squares Explained

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video, we’ll discuss madder silk, what it is, where it comes from, and
why it’s so highly prized among menswear enthusiasts. Chances are that as a viewer
of the Gentleman’s Gazette channel, you’ve probably got at least a passing
familiarity with different kinds of fabrics and what goes into them. If you’d
like to learn more though, we have several comprehensive fabric guides on
our website, many of which have companion videos, you can find our overview page on
the website here. For example, we recently covered the super terminology of worsted
wool suits and what that means in greater depth, if you’re interested in
that topic you can find the related video here. Today, we’re covering another
fabric term with a bit of mystique surrounding it, Madder silk, also sometimes
referred to as ancient madder. Before we discuss fabrication though, let’s cover
the history, we’ll start with the name itself. The Madder in Madder silk simply
refers to a plant rubia tinctorum, also called rubia
tinctoria, common madder, or dyers madder, from which as you might expect, natural
dyes can be extracted. Use of the plant dates all the way back to 1500 BCE
and it’s also been used in such various locations as Africa, Greece, Italy, and
Central Asia. In other words, it’s been used since ancient times, hence the term
ancient madder, as a dye for leather and fabrics including cotton, wool, and silk. A
piece of cotton dyed with madder has been recovered from the archaeological
site at Mohenjo-daro, now in India and historical figures such as Pliny the
Elder and Charlemagne wrote about Madder. Focusing for a moment on how the dye
itself is actually produced, it starts with harvesting the plant after about
two years of growth then by drying and fermenting the roots of the plant, red
dyes called alizarin and purpurin are extracted. These
dyes were first isolated by the French chemist Pierre Jean Robiquet in 1826.
Alternatively, the roots can also be dissolved in sulfuric acid which leaves
a dye called Garance which is the French word for madder. In 1869, German chemists
were able to synthesize artificial alizarin dye, effectively ending the need
for cultivation of natural madder roots. And relating our historical overview
specifically to the topic of menswear, madder silk ties, primarily produced in
England ,became a staple of Ivy style on college campuses beginning in the 1930s.
As an alternative to the repp stripe patterns that were standard at the time,
madder ties were often seen either in Paisley or in small repeating geometric
patterns. According to author and menswear historian, G. Bruce Boyer, they
were considered the king of campus ties, inevitably more expensive than the other
ties but more prestigious and discriminating. By the way, if you’re
interested in a complete overview on ivy style you can find our video on that
topic here. Alright now that you know where madder dyed silk comes from, let’s
discuss why it’s so highly prized among menswear aficionados. While natural
madder root produced primarily only red dyes, the modern dyeing process for
madder can produce a wide array of rich saturated hues. Most of these colors are
on the darker end of the spectrum, think for example, colors like mustard,
forest green, burnt orange, deep blue, and violet, and of course, red, and burgundy.
Madder ties are now always printed on a twill silk fabric that has been treated
with gum arabic leading to a distinctive finish and feel, this is referred to by
the experts and those in the industry as a chalk hand. Specifically, the silk used
is first boiled to remove its natural gum which is an organic resin. Then, the
silk is dyed whatever color or colors it’s going to be
and then artificial gum is added back in to give the tie that distinctive chalky
feel. And regarding pattern choices, as we mentioned previously, madder ties are
almost always produced in either paisley or repeating geometric designs. This
combination then of the rich but subtle colors and the neat but intricate
designs will give a madder tie an unmistakable touch of refined class.
Madder ties will then be visually interesting and somewhat playful but
also suitably formal for a wide variety of situations
and speaking of different levels of formality, if you’re curious about how
what you should wear depends on the formality of a situation, you can find
our dress code primer video here. Now that you’re hopefully sold on the
reasons why madder ties are so revered, the question does remain, where can you
buy them? While fewer manufacturers today produce madder ties than was true in
the previous century, there are still a few retailers who carry them. These
manufacturers would perhaps most famously include Drakes of London but
there are also others such as J. Press and Sam Hober. For a great selection of
authentic madder silk ties though, you fortunately don’t have to look any
further than right here at Fort Belvedere. This then begs the related
question, what makes our Fort Belvedere madder silk ties so special? Firstly,
production of madder silk is a difficult multi-step process of screen printing
and only the highest quality silks can be used. As a matter of principle then,
Fort Belvedere sources all of its ancient madder directly from England. To
produce a blue madder tie, for example, a natural white base cloth will be
outlined with a pattern and highlight colors would be applied to certain areas.
Once the pattern printing is finished, the fabric is immersed in an indigo bath
rendering the omitted areas madder blue. And in addition to their rich colors,
Fort Belvedere madder silk ties also feature the distinctive chalk hand of
genuine madder neckwear. Our ties are untipped, sport fine
hand rolled edges, a carefully chosen interlining chosen for ideal knots, and a
signature green 3 ply silk yarn from Germany for additional durability.
Finally here, Fort Belvedere offers three different lengths of ties so that any
man can properly size the tie that he wants for his specific height. On that
topic if you’d like to learn more about ties you can find our playlist on the
subject here. Setting aside genuine madder ties for a moment, it is true that
you can find imitations out there but of course, it should go without saying that
a true gentleman will demand the genuine product. One final note today, what are
the best ways to wear a madder silk tie? In the most general terms, they’re
particularly well suited for fall, although they can be worn year-round
depending on how you choose to incorporate the color palette into your
outfit. As an example, you could combine a tweed jacket or full suit with an Oxford
cloth button-down shirt and a madder silk tie for a distinctly Ivy style inspired
look. In addition to tweed, most heavier fabrics with some heft and texture to
them will pair well with madder silk ties such as for example the camel hair
jacket I’m wearing today and if you are curious about tweed in particular you
can find our video on that subject here. regarding dressing for fall you can find
our video on 11 must-haves for the fall season here Overall then, given that
madder silk has some historical pedigree just as rich as the colors it produces,
mdder silk ties should be a staple of any discerning gentleman’s wardrobe. you
can check out our selection of madder silk ties as well as pocket squares in
the Fort Belvedere shop and you’ll soon see that it truly is a matter of taste.
as you may have guessed my outfit for today’s video features both a madder silk
tie as well as a madder silk pocket square both from Fort Belvedere the tie
is in orange red and it features a repeating geometric pattern in
buff meanwhile the pocket square is in dark bronze and it features a red and
green diamond pattern with a Paisley border between the Paisley pocket square
and the geometric pattern tie both of the main patterns for madder silk are
represented in today’s outfit to harmonize well with this warm color
palette then I’m wearing a camel hair sport coat and a yellow French cuff
shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt my trousers are in plain brown in a shade that’s a
little bit darker than the camel hair color and my socks are in buff to
harmonize with the shirt and the pattern on the tie they also feature a pattern
which is a geometric pattern of repeating squares my tan cap-toe derby
shoes go well with the jacket and they feature a little bit of broguing along
the cap toe they’re from Allen Edmonds also from Fort Belvedere today are my
cufflinks which are gold-plated sterling silver links in an Eagle Claw design and
featuring tiger’s eye as the stone as well as my boutonniere whose flower is
white phlox you can find the madder silk tie and pocket square as well as the
boutonniere and cufflinks and a wide variety of other men’s wear accessories
in the Fort Belvedere shop here


  • megairishmom

    August 5, 2019

    Hello Preston and Raphael I must say thank you for you have inspired me to start my own fashion business

  • Mehdi Scent

    August 5, 2019

    Great informative content! Thumbs up 👍

  • Smirkish Tuscadero

    August 5, 2019

    I'm naming my kid Preston.

  • Demetrios Levi

    August 5, 2019

    Such great history behind ancient madder. It's something I'd be honored to wear some day. Great video as always!

  • Gavrilo Doderović

    August 5, 2019


  • CelloMachachillo

    August 5, 2019

    Are Hermès printed silk madder ties?

  • David Smith

    August 5, 2019


  • Waltski

    August 5, 2019

    Informative video and wonderful colors! Thank you!

  • Ventura2050

    August 5, 2019

    Why are your ties untipped? Thank you.

  • b phillip

    August 5, 2019

    you might say Dyers' Lives Madder.

    I'll show my self out.

    [I'm making a joke]

  • ausatfz

    August 5, 2019

    Mein Jo Daro is NOT in India but rather in Pakistan. Please correct this error

  • Green Fielder

    August 5, 2019

    Please correct yourself
    "Mohenjodaro is in Pakistan, not India"

  • CornCod1

    August 5, 2019

    I have just made a mental note that if I buy a camel hair jacket that I will buy a pale yellow shirt and red tie with it. Great outfit Mr. Preston!

  • CartoonThat

    August 5, 2019

    Fascinating video. Thank you!

  • Krunoslav Kovacec

    August 5, 2019

    Will you do a video on winchester shirts? I would like to see a full video on these shirts and where to buy them. Great video as always!

  • Sheraf Saheel

    August 5, 2019

    love ur vids, keep up the great work guys.

  • splashpont

    August 5, 2019

    "And looking grim,
    'Cause they've been sitting
    Choosing a hat.
    Does anyone still wear a hat?
    I'll drink to that."

    That's what "the ladies who lunch" say.  And, on a related matter, does anyone still wear ties?

  • Alabaster Scarf

    August 5, 2019

    Gum arabic is what most professional watercolor paints use as a medium. I had no idea it was also used in menswear!

  • ingrid

    August 5, 2019

    Speaking of dyes do you dye your hair? Good info !!👍

  • Dragonflywins

    August 5, 2019

    Unrelated question: Is it ok to wear cowboy boots with a suit?

  • Countalma

    August 5, 2019

    A very well-coordinated outfit and good shoes! Perhaps, a white or pale blue shirt would be better, though. Very good video overall.

  • Jodie Roundtree

    August 5, 2019

    hey that wasn't much info on bow ties!

  • john t

    August 5, 2019

    Great advice, Thank You

  • thedude Iamnot

    August 5, 2019

    Looking sharp, bruh ✌️

  • 2Bit Rasputin

    August 5, 2019

    Good to know. I want one. How do you guys keep so well coiffed? That's a video idea, "Barbering". And another, "A gentleman's guide to Bicycles".

  • Marco Kropp

    August 5, 2019

    great video Stifler!

  • Mary Waldau

    August 5, 2019

    The color combinations of the outfits are dazzling!

  • LTH

    August 5, 2019

    There is a noticable gap between your collar and lapels

  • Joakim Henrikson

    August 5, 2019

    Great video, again!

  • Frank Gyori

    August 5, 2019

    This is one of the best posts I have seen in some time.  The history of 'madder' silk and its origins was fascinating.  Also, you boys looked perfect.  The clothing, shoes and accessories were appropriate and in very presentable appearance.  Loved this video.  Keep up your wonderful work.  Incidentally, I looked you up online and found a video showcasing your amazing singing ability.  I have always been wild about multi-talented individuals.

  • QRS3C273

    August 6, 2019

    I have no sense of style so this channel is helpful lol! Thanks.

  • C. W.

    August 6, 2019

    I have a camel hair sports jacket. Does this style jacket have a seasonal disposition or can it be worn year round?

  • snotrat2

    August 6, 2019

    Could you do one on British country style, things like tattersalls shirts etc.

  • Darcy

    August 6, 2019

    Great information as always, but personally I found the volume of internal links a bit jarring and a bit like a sales pitch for the site. People coming here know there's a video on nearly everything already

  • Oskar Theme

    August 6, 2019

    Very interesting. Btw, what tie knot are you wearing in this video?

  • Adam Poláček

    August 6, 2019

    I bought tie from this material in second hand for less than half dollar 😀

  • Muzaffar Khan

    August 6, 2019

    Thank you for the video. My friend: A minor correction. Mohenjo-Daro is not located in India. It is located in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation.

  • Aldroid151

    August 6, 2019

    Mohenjo – Daro is actually in Sindh, Pakistan,

  • M. Faraz Samavat

    August 6, 2019

    Very informative video.
    The colour harmony in Preston's outfit is extremely well-formulated.

  • Riz Kler

    August 6, 2019

    Cheers Preston 🤘😎👍

  • MmeDesgranges

    August 7, 2019

    Gotta love that awkward Preston spin. Never equalled.

  • Silverstreak

    August 7, 2019

    Very informative. Only us menswear geeks would appreciate such a post but I love seeing the history behind these items!

  • Faizan Abbasi

    August 7, 2019

    Let me correct your facts. Mohen Jo Daro Is in today's Pakistan
    How do I know and you dont? Because I'm a citizen of Pakistan

  • mxt mxt

    August 7, 2019

    So madder is used to make red and similar colours. Any chance we might get a video on blue?

  • Steve Leopard

    August 7, 2019

    Thanks for the great information

  • Harvey Specter

    August 8, 2019

    Please consider making a video about how to pair (dress) shirts with beige and khaki suits or generally how to pair brighter coloured suits. If you apply classic style rules you choose a lighter colour for the dress shirt than the suit jacket or blazer, therefore you end up mostly with white and off white.
    What about breaking this rule with brighter suit colours and go for a darker coloured dress shirt, for example a darker grey (but not charcoal) dress shirt with a beige suit jacket in casual situations? Do you think one can pull that off or what are your thoughts on this topic?

  • Asif Sabri

    August 8, 2019

    Wonderful details by Preston / Gent's Gazette…but please correct the error in video…Mohenjo-daro is in Sind Province, Pakistan, not India!

  • Arryn786

    August 8, 2019

    Mohenjo Daro isn’t in India. It’s in Pakistan

  • andrjsh

    August 9, 2019

    Preston, the word is pronounced "primmer." "Primer" is what you put down before painting.

  • George Charalambous

    August 14, 2019

    This is fantastic! I just realized that here in Greece we use Madder to dye easter eggs red! I had no idea…

  • GUNFUN 777

    August 20, 2019

    what do you guys think of acne studios

  • Alexandru Dragan

    September 5, 2019

    Great job, guys. Always with great information.

  • mark kay

    October 28, 2019

    i LOVE ancient madder anything. i recently purchased my third ancient madder tie from drakes, this time. i own two pocket squares too. i went to a dinner wearing one time, and sadly only one person knew what it was. another person told me it looked like something someone from the 80s would wear. whatever. theyre awesome

  • Brunkvic

    October 29, 2019

    camel hair jacket? swag


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