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

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knowing When To Call A Spade A Spade

This week something happened to me which was very awkward. A customer wrote in from the United States asking after barathea as opposed to grosgrain for his bow tie. Although I had heard the name barathea used many times over, personally I had never worked with it either as a lapel on a tuxedo or else as a bow tie. It forced me to take a trip into the city to see the agent for Holland And Sherry in Sydney, Simon Rice. Simon is a wealth of knowledge on fabrics and he has master fabric books and a pair of spectacles that make you feel as though he was a textiles sorcerer and could conjure up any fabric you wanted if you had enough time. Simon put me in my place very quickly saying 'yes, there is a difference. A grosgrain is a grosgrain and barathea is a double hop....." as he said what he said I just got lost in the technical terms and switched off almost immediately. He then halted and said, 'perhaps we can get a proper definition from the Mercury'. Out came the dusty jacketed book. Simon explained that he had been given the book at the start of his career. It was dated February 1952....

In the end, because of the poor photography I took, I had to get a definition elsewhere, but here we go:

BARATHEA: 1. A silk, rayon, or manufactured fiber necktie fabric with a broken rib weave and
a characteristic pebbly appearance. 2. A fine, dress fabric with a silk warp and worsted filling, woven in a broken filling rib which completely covers the warp. 3. A smooth-faced worsted uniform cloth with an indistinct twilled basket weave of fine two-ply yarns.

GROSGRAIN: A heavy fabric with prominent ribs, grosgrain has a dressy appearance and is used in ribbons, vestments, and ceremonial cloths.

Subsequently, Simon explained that Barathea is seldom sold in anything other than wool to his knowledge (although the definition we found contradicts this statement). Who is right, who is wrong? If you have any more knowledge to shed on the subject, please leave a comment below.

In the meantime, I shall share with you an excerpt from that dusty book on the definition of 'natte' silk and below you will also see that Holland And Sherry is in the papers with respect to the Prince Of Wales' recent visit to Australia to see sheep on a farm.

A piece of textiles history - the 1950 production of the Mercury Dictionary Of Textile Terms

Recently, you may have seen we have begun offering natte silk. The definition of this silk is listed above.

Above: Prince Charles prefers to take a pint wearing an Anderson and Shephard suit made from Holland & Sherry fine merino wool. He was spending the day seeing where the sheep come from that make his fine suits. 

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