Bow Ties Sydney, Australia - Le Noeud Papillon - Specialists In Self Tying Bow Ties

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Friday, September 28, 2012

A Happy Customer From Perth, Western Australia

Hello Le Noeud Papillon,

The bow tie is perfect. I have looked all over the internet and around the world for a good diamond-point black silk bow tie. I have tried Moss Bros., the Cordial Churchman and Beau Ties of Vermont to name a few but without success. Yours did the job perfectly.


M. O'Shea
Perth, Western Australia
We are currently out of stock at but we will have more in stock next week. 28.9.2012

Speaking Of Velvets - Holland And Sherry Have A New Bunch

Holland and Sherry has just released it's latest bunch of velvets and I can see a number of new additions that will be making their way into our bow tie collection. The left side is made of 100% cotton 10 1/2 oz (330g) and the right side is made up of 71% cotton 29 % modal 14/15 oz (435 -465g) fabric. Unfortunately, as I have always complained about velvet, you can't truly appreciate the fabric unless it is in your hand.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silk & Cotton Velvet - A Different Kind Of Pile

It is hard to come across authentic silk and cotton mix velvet. The kind you see below is very rare indeed. It has taken months of trying to find someone who had it, and in the end, it was worth the search. Below are our floppier super jacquette black velvet, our ruby red velvet and our regular black silk cotton velvet. They are now available on although there is limited stock. The silk comprises 24 per cent of the warp. With regards to the softer jacquette, the pile sits very high and has very little direction to the fabric. We hope you like these silk velvet bows as much as we do.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Portrait Competition III: Entrant #3; Ray Frensham, London, England

This portrait of Ray Frensham of London, England was taken by Richard Holmberg from Stockholm in Sweden. The bow tie is from J Press in New York City. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Truth About Hong Kong Tailors - A Review Of The Service Of Raja Fashions

Oppenheimer is like my 'Newman', he is always getting me into one pickle or another. Years ago he found a mobile phone dealer in Chinatown that would sell us a Motorola Star Tac for $499.00AUD. At the time it was a bargain. He negotiated with this man Nelson for days until he had him on what he thought was the best price, so long as I would join him in this special deal if he bought two phones at the time. I went to the kiosk to pick up my phone and for days we texted one another back and forth complaining that this particular Motorola was the most difficult phone to operate and despite having the coolness of a flip flop, it was in fact a dud. A few weeks later I bumped into Oppenheimer on campus and he was holding a silver Nokia banana slide phone - evidently he had 'moved on up' and I was left to endure the Motorola on my lonesome. I have never forgotten this which was why I had a certain level of trepidation in following him to Raja Fashions for a fitting....

Oppenheimer also once offered me a pearl of widsom. He said 'praise individually, discourage categorically'. I try not to discourage and concentrate on praise on this blog. If any of this is discouraging, please understand that it is only my observations on this particular order. So without further ado, I will give you my opinion of Raja Fashions from Hong Kong.

I was very impressed with the service and the final product from Raja Fashions. A caramel / camel suit arrived in wool and the other item was this window pane sports jacket below which was a silk and wool mix. Since I am involved in the world of tailoring and have a good relationship with both tailors and alterations people, I took the chance and refused for Raja Fashions to do the second fitting and asked only that they finish the suit for their 3/4 fitting and send it to Sydney and that I would take responsibility for the final alterations (that is a disclaimer in itself).

When the suit arrived it was flat packed as below. I opened it up and laid it out to have a look at the workmanship and to evaluate what I would need to do to finish it. I then tried the jacket on in the mirror and this was the first moment I realised that perhaps I had jumped the gun in refusing the second fitting. The suit was very big on me, in fact, it was slightly swimming. So, the first thing I did that afternoon is go to the tailor to get my alterations done. It was then that I realised there truly is a benefit both in time and in quality in having your tailor in the city where you live. We went through the suit with a fine comb and we made the following notes.

1. Despite asking for a soft shoulder the shoulder was more British than Italian and there was not a lot she was going to be able to do about this. I felt as though I was in a time warp but I didn't mind since the inspiration for the suit came from Prince Charles. The same problem would have occured for Raja Fashions should I have noted this with them, but they might have had a chance to do something about it.

2. The area between the chest and waist was straight down, there was no tapering to the suit despite many photos being taken. Again, I take most of the responsibility for this since I did not accept the invitation for a second fitting.

3. The rise in the trousers on the suit was too big. One thing I don't like is a sagging rise. This won't be able to be overcome but luckily the problem was not so great and I can live with it.

4. I went for vents in the rear. Unfortunately these vents jutted out a little too much so we will be bringing them in.

5. The padding in the front lapel seemed overly generous. I would probably recommend next time that they pull back a little on the front of the jacket. It did not feel lightweight - the suit felt rather heavy.

6. The arms were too big so we will need to take them in which poses a slight problem for the armhole trying to make sure we marry it all up.

7. There was a small mark on the lapel of the caramel suit.

8. The suit was 18 days behind scheduled delivery.

Would I recommend Raja Fashions to you? The answer is YES. The price of the caramel suit and window pane blue jacket was roughly  $1200.00AUD. Two items at this price, given what I received, to me, represents good value. What I would recommend is that you have a good alterations business, such as Alterations By Master in O'Connell Street or Bellevue Tailors in Bellevue Hill +612 9389 9490 to do your work for you after Raja Fashions is done. There will always be slight tweaks that will need to be done and you should factor these alterations costs in when you negotiate the price. Where I was disappointed was that some of the alterations I would have liked to have had done are not available to me now. The changing of the shoulder padded area, the armhole size, these are items that should have been done at the first fitting, and this is perhaps my fault because of my impatience. Unfortunately, once these things have been completed, it is price prohibitive getting your local Australian alterations company to do the work. You may as well buy a whole new suit. As for what my alterations cost me? In the end, Bellevue Tailors will work on the two jackets for roughly $500.00. It takes the edge off the transaction, yes, but then I am very finicky and for me, I most likely would have spent at least $300 dollars on alterations regardless.

If you would like to meet Mr Raja and his friends, you can contact them below:

Customer Care, Raja Fashions
Tel: (+852) 21087023 | Fax:(+852) 21087010
Unit M, 13/F, Kaiser Estate Phase 3
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong | Skype: raja.customer.service 

Post Script: This just arrived from Oppenheimer. He probably has some deal going with Raja Fashions...

You are nuts not taking the second fitting
 My suit arrived on Friday – it is perfect!  They fixed everything, took out the excess padding, brought it in here, fixed it there etc, didn’t cost me a dime
 The sports jacket is a little broad across the shoulders so I am going to get them to alter it when they are next in town

How It Arrived, The Window Pane Jacket And Caramel Suit Flat Packed

Opening Up The Window Pane Jacket, Crushed And Ready For A Press And Alterations

More From The Carta Brothers - Our Friends In Milan

Earlier you may have seen a post we did with the Carta brothers of Milan. They recently sent in some more photos of their work that has appeared in films. As we await delivery of their range, we would like to share with you some of the work that they have done so far.

Pyjamas and robes for 'Meet The Parents - Little Fockers'

Christopher Walken's Smoking Jacket

Larry Hagman's Ascot

And our favourite, Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) silk robe in the Godfather Part 3 

How To Fold A Pocket Square - Visual Instructions

If this image belongs to you, please let me know by emailing me here so that I can credit you.

Rose Callahan Delivers Once Again...

Over at the Dandy Portraits they have delivered up another set of amazing portrait photos of 'real' people. This time it's Barima in London. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vox Sartoria On Choosing A Shirt For Fall / Winter

Probably the most useful little bit of information you will use in some time. From Vox Sartoria

Vox Sartoria - Could Be The Next Big Thing

Oppenheimer tipped me off that Vox Sartoria had created a blog. The world of men's online fashion forums is filled with a community of senior members responsible for creating a great deal of the chat that ends up becoming fodder for tailors who listen and respond to both praise and criticism. I do not know who Vox Sartoria is other than that his opinion is well-respected in these communities, and so I am looking forward to staying in touch with his blog.

Prince Charles and Camilla inspecting the shoe lasts of John Lobb.
Prince Of Wales fabric swatches from Fox Brothers

The Rat Pack, from a new angle

Will Boehlke Of A Suitable Wardrobe, hopefully wearing a Le Noeud Papillon bow tie

In Which Direction Is Men's Fashion Now Travelling?

It would be a wise guess as to what is going to happen in the world of men's fashion over the coming months. The explosion of creativity in the realm of men's garment and accessory manufacturing has been the kind of flourish that you could refer to as a 'renaissance'. Like a desert that has not seen any water for many years, if not decades, when the rains came the landscape was flooded with colour and activity and what seemed lifeless is now a vibrant hive of activity. And just like a desert, when there was no water, you just stared at the horizon, now you don't know which way to look. At every turn you are confronted with images on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Tumblr. It's all there for us to enjoy but at the same time, it can somewhat stifle your own creativity. It is like the sun, you must not stare at it for too long. Below are some of the images that have caught my attention this week. These images came from Gentleman Forever, Parisian Gentleman and google image searches.

Maroon / Burgundy plus reds and contrast trimming and creams.... In.
Return of paisley is well and truly here

Purples and patinas. In.
The red check is in. The rest of it is out.

Hand rolled edges are definitely in for ties. 

Red is everywhere at the moment. If not on the fabric, then somewhere.

Letting fabric speak for itself, IN

Prada. See what I mean about red? See what I mean about you don't know which way fashion is about to go!

Red, I told you.

I threw him in because other blog writers keep coming back to him and so do I. 

Brackish Bow Ties - A Feather No Longer Needs To Be In Your Cap

A friend I had not heard from in a long long time sent me an email this morning alerting me to these very quirky and unique bow ties from a brand called 'Brackish'. Have a look at their website when you have a free moment.

Below is an excerpt on how Brackish bow ties came to be:

Ben Ross grew up in South Carolina, where he developed a passion for the outdoors and nature. Hunting and fishing were taught to him at a young age and have stayed close to his heart ever since. As he got older and friends were getting married, Ben started to experiment with different versions of the classic bow tie. Never one to blend in with the crowd, he wanted a classy alternative to the black bow tie which is usually seen as just another component in the suit. Ben wanted to change that. He wanted something that stood out, something nobody had ever seen before. But above all else, he wanted it to be that one little thing that made other guests turn their heads. Turkey feathers proved to be the most tasteful and best looking option. Ben made a handful of "Brackish Bow Ties" that he gave to his groomsmen for his wedding day. They were a hit and the buzz about them was unmistakable. They represented Ben so well: he brought his passion for the outdoors inside to his loved ones, and they looked great!

Le Grand Retour Du Foulard Pour Les Hommes ?

Over at Parisian Gentleman, they are reporting on the 'the grand return' or 'come back' of the foulard or ascot or cravatte depending on where you live. Although, there is a difference between them in terms of fabrication. Below are some of the images that Hugo Jacomet has posted. I love neckwear for the spring and summer that is not a tie and not a bow tie. These kinds of neckwear represent a lovely way to finish an unbuttoned shirt. They are not for everyone, some men look too stiff in them, others look too sleazy. Wearing a foulard, a cravatte, an ascot, a bandana or a kerchief requires some forethought. It is a delicate dance where if one foot is put wrong you can ruin the entire spectacle... Wishing you luck experimenting! LNP

Posted on Parisian Gentleman, a set of instructions on how to tie a kerchief or cravatte

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You Learn Something New Everyday - The Bund Strap

Many years ago in Sydney there was a highly dynamic company that started making elastic sided sneakers. The concept for the shoes, so far as I am told, was that two young men were so stoned one day on a holiday, that they couldn't get their shoes back on after sightseeing that one joked to the other 'it would be great if they had elastic sides' - and this was how Royal Elastics was born. In Miami in 2001 I was passing through after a South American adventure from one side to the other on a Tucan yellow bus tour. On a budget I arrived in Miami with very little money to spend but found myself in the company of one of the then directors of the shoe company who took us to their product launch at a place called The Opium Den where we were plonked next to Paul Oakenfold, Naomi Campbell and Boy George. I have often relayed the story to others but I am quite certain that Paul, Naomi, and Boy fail to remember the occasion as fondly as I do. In those days the young dynamic duo from Royal Elastics - Tull Price and Rodney Adler, lived it, as we used to say, 'large', globe trotting from one city to the next as they expanded their operation.

Fast forward 11 years and the pair decided to go separate ways. One of the pair, Tull Price, now owns and runs Feit, which is a very unique business model for leather goods. Feit is an Australian company that specialises in making hand-made shoes with fine leathers but in the most non-traditional manner. They are on the interface of street-fashion and classic artisan manufacturing, making new pieces every month which they then offer out to their members. Although not exactly the style I am accustomed to for my own person, I can see how they are loved by their followers. They take a very rustic, urban approach to make a more modern shoe, not in the least hemmed in by tradition and yet respecting their craftsmanship. What I am interested in is The Bund Band, which I will let them explain below. In the meantime, check out Feit's website.

"The Bund Strap watchband was first used by WWII pilots because of its insulating properties. The leather band would ensure that the watch face would not freeze or burn a pilot’s wrist as they were exposed to extreme conditions.
Later the first man to venture into space - Yuri Gagarin - wore his watch on a Bund Strap. Perhaps its most celebrated wearer was Paul Newman whose signature Rolex Daytona was always worn on a Bund Strap."

The Bund Band, a great watch band for a sports watch
Feit leather boots are entirely hand-made

I Hope This Goes Viral!

A Little About Bresciani Socks - An Interview With Massimiliano Bresciani

Bresciani started in 1970. What has changed in the world of socks since 1970? Do you have any images of socks from the original collection that you would be able to share with us?

The big change in the socks industry was before 1970, when socks manufacturing went from flat knitting machines (the same machines that are used for knitwear), to the production of socks through circular machines, which reduced dramatically the timing and the cost in producing a pair of socks. This was back in the 1940’s. Since the 1970’s the biggest change in the industry has been the arrival on the market of the ‘linked-toe’ machines, which are able to produce the sock with toe already closed.

How many pairs of socks should a man have in his drawer and what proportion of them should be black?

This is a difficult question. Personally I have more than 50 pairs of socks. But, then again, not everyone is involved in the socks industry like I am. 24 pairs should be a good number for a socks lover. With regards to the colour, in Europe the best seller is navy, but in the USA and in Russia, the most sold colour is black. It is, really, depending on the country. Regardless, almost 50% of your collection should be in these two solid colours.

In terms of sock theft, do you have any tricks for preventing someone in your household from 
stealing your socks and is sock theft as prevalent in Italy as it is in Australia?

I think this is probably the same story for all small items. To be honest, I don’t have the statistics on this one nor do I have a permanent solution, so I’ll pass.

How should you fold your socks?  

For me personally, I like them rolled together with the inside out.

Can you please describe for our readers the different types of wool and fabric construction that you refer to when talking about socks? For example, with respect to cotton shirting, people often talk about 100 2ply cotton to 200 2 ply cotton and blends of cotton/linen, Egyptian cotton, Sea Island cotton…  What is the equivalent language in the world of socks?  

The first thing you need to understand is that the way we initially grade socks is from the cone yarns. It means we don’t really talk about the fabrics but about the yarns. The measure of the yarns is in the yarn count. So, the higher the yarn count, the finer the fabric as a general rule. For example, the finest cotton used in the socks industry is 120/2. This means that there are 120 kilometres! (difficult to believe but it is true!) of 2 ply cotton yarn in 1 kilogram of yarn. Then, if you go down from here, the count is then say 100/2, then 90/2 etc. It is roughly the same measurement system for woollen socks. Australian Merino wool is very fine, so an example of 2/72 means that there is 72 kilometres! of 2 ply wool yarn in every 1 kilogram. The big difference after this becomes the machine that is used to make the socks. For example, you could use a monocyclinder which gives an embroidered style of a microdesign. Or, you could use a double cylinder machine, which is used for solid colours and jacquards. Then on top of this you have another production quality which is the gauge. The gauge means the number of needles in an inch. The finest machines usually have around 260 needles for luxury socks whereas sports socks usually require 60 needles.

How should you wash a pair of Bresciani socks?  

The best way to wash a pair of fine socks is by hands. When you can’t do that, wash them in a machine at 30 degrees Celsius on a very low tumble.

In your opinion, should your socks match or not match your tie or bow tie or should they match the colour of your suit? Or the colour of your shoes? How should a man pair go about matching up his socks with his attire? 

Ah my friend, this is another question of personal taste. I usually match the socks and the tie. The trend, at the moment, is to wear very bright colours.

What is your favourite pair of socks? 

This is that question that no mother wishes to field. It is the same as asking which of her sons does she prefer? Of course, she will tell you she loves them all equally, as I will tell you about my socks. But if you ask her quietly, she will tell you her favourite, and I will tell you that our Vanisee Two Tone Ribs in 100% cotton are my favourite!