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The making of our ties - The Nines

26 March 2019

Como Lake Italy

Since the Middle Ages, Lombary has been a pioneering region when it comes to the breeding of silkworms. The silk used by us is woven in a workshop that's steeped in the unique expertise typical of the Como region, the historic cradle of slik production in Italy. Como has become the tie capital of the world, comining quality materials with expert weavers. With the arrival of mechanical looms, these workshops were able to modernise their production methods while retaining their historical expertise. 

Traditional craftsmanship revealed

Once woven, our rools of fabrics are sent to our tailoring workshop in southern Italy, in Lecce. Our ties are made with highly sophisticated tools: scissors, chalk, a couple of sewing machines, thread and needles!

First of all, the fabric is gently unwound in several overlapping layers: this is known as unrolling (1). If the fabric is not patterned, several types of fabric can be worked at the same time. Otherwise, the unrolling and cutting are done on a fabric-by-fabric basis in order to obtain properly positioned tie patterns. This step is very important because paying attention to the slightest fold is crucial: the fabric must be unrolled flat, then the different layers are clamped together using pliers so they don't come apart in the following steps. 

After the unrolling comes the drawing (2), which involves accurately chalking in the pattern of the tie on to the fabric. We designed our own patterns so that our ties have the perfect shape: they can be tied easily, all while maintaining a beautiful hold throughout the day. The Nines ties have been developed according to our own designs. 

Finally, the fabric is cut according to the pattern using a rotary cutter (3). The craftsmen we work with have considerable expertise that's first and foremost a result of respecting safety rules: wearing glasses and knit rib gloves to avoid any injuries ! The experience in the handling of this tool ensures a homogeneous and continuous cutting job, which gives the finished tie a more regular fall. 

Cut-draw-circular cut

(1) Unrolling and cutting with scissors – (2) Outlining the shape with chalk – (3) Cutting with a circular blade

The secrets of careful and meticulous assembly

Once the various elements have been cut out, it is then necessary to sew and assemble the blade, tail and neck, not to mention the lining and the interlining! This interlining is placed on the inside of the outer shell of the tie before being sewn on its side using loose seams that will allow the tie to retain its flexibility and hold. The assembly requires great rigour because the thickness of the silk and the interlining can be very different. It is therefore essential to adapt the interlining and the thread used to the corresponding silk. For example, our printed silk ties have a slightly thicker lining than woven silk ties because printed silk is usually much thinner. As such, we choose the interlining and thread according to each tie so that the latter retains a beautfiul hand and a high-quality hold, regardless of the outer fabric. 

Then, all the pieces are ironed (5) once: the ends are uniformly folded and the folds for the seams are formed. We use a special low-temperature iron that does not alter the fabric of the tie. 

Then comes the assembly (6), done using a special sewing machine. The cotton interlining is placed symmetrically in the centre of the fabric of the future tie. The machine then accurately folds the fabric on to this interlining. The width is crucial: if it's too narrow, it won't stay in place. If it's too wide, folds will appear on the tie. It is this interlining that will stiffen and structure the tie and give it its hand and hold. The quality of the interlining is also responsible for allowing you to tie your tie and to create a stylish knot!


(4) Assembling all the pieces – (5) Ironing the assembled pieces – (6) Mounting the interlining onto the assembled pieces

The unique precision and expertise of our seamstresses

Once the assembly has been completed, the seamstress does a check to make sure the parts have been properly assembled and aligned. She then folds and pins the tie into its final shape (7), which must be harmonious, symmetrical and straight.

At the same time, the keeper loop (8) on the back is prepared and sewn 24cm from the tip of the tie. This loop serves to further increase the hold of your tie; this is done by inserting the tail located behind it. 

The back of the tie is then closed and the stitches are sewn gently to maintain the flexibility of the fabric and to discreetly attach the silk to the lining. This slip stitch (9) is made by seamstresses who sew and check the fit of the interlining. Finally, the seamstress adds that signature touch to the production of the tie: the bar tack or travetto in Italian, which ensures an optimal finish and requires the thread to be looped 18 times. This type of stitch is unique: each seamstress has her own method. An expert can identify the seamstress who made the bar tack at a glance!


(7) Folding the tie into its final shape – (8) Sewing the keeper loop onto the back – (9) Final stitches

The final touches and finishes: the essential steps

Now that the tie has been assembled and sewn, you have to add a The Nines label (10). This reveals the care taken during production and demonstrates the quality of the finished product. 

The final step is to examine the finished product and the trim the last threads. In order to offer you a tie of impeccable quality, the final inspection and quality control are done twice. The tie is ironed one last time to create a neat finish. The tie is now ready to wear (11!)!

Wearing a tie in the 21st century is an assumed choice, the quality comes naturally. Once your tie has been selected, all you have to do is discover all the different tie knots.


(10) Labeling the tie (11) Last inspection and the tie is ready to go