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Ideas for using men’s silk ties

valentinesday | Posted in General Discussion on

I was in a vintage clothing store today, and found myself admiring men’s ties. The store owner said she could buy them by the bale, if I could think of ways to use them. She mentioned seeing skirts made of ties in the 60’s. I have seen quilts and vests made from ties, and am wondering about purses, pillows, other uses. Your ideas? Thank you!


  1. starzoe | | #1

    There is a book callied "Daddy's Ties" (don't know the author offhand), but it is full of really good ideas. My library has it, perhaps yours does too.

    1. valentinesday | | #4

      Great news! I just reserved the book on-line from my library; can't wait to see it. Thank you for your idea.

    2. damascusannie | | #5

      They are great for making crazy quilts or any crazy-pieced base fabric that you could then cut up and use for anything you wanted.

      1. User avater
        paddyscar | | #6

        They make great bias tape for a surprise finish.

        1. marymary | | #7

          I used to use them to make a piped edge to go between the lining and the facing of a wool blazer.  I still would use them for that except I don't wear wool blazers anymore.

          1. Josefly | | #10

            Ooh, pretty. Now you've got me thinking... those bias strips could be used as trim in any number of unexpected places. Maybe along the facing edges of an unlined linen jacket?The ties would make pretty belts, too. If we could find coverable belt buckles, there would be enough of the tie to do that, too, but alas, we've had trouble finding those. Narrow tubes of the silk strips could be braided to make a pretty belt.

        2. damascusannie | | #8

          Those are both great ideas!Annie in Wisconsin, USA
          ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
          ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
          See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at: http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannie

          Edited 11/19/2008 10:13 am by damascusannie

    3. samsgram | | #9

      Hi, the author for "Daddy's Ties" is Shirley Botsford

  2. Josefly | | #2

    I saw some bags made of ties, somewhere online, can't remember where. Also, teddy bears made of pieced ties. Seems to me those beautiful silk ties could be pieced to make gorgeous scarves. I like your idea of pillows. There are so many gorgeous prints in ties.

    1. valentinesday | | #3

      Thanks for your reply. I love the idea of teddy bears made with ties, and I will now google silk ties/bags and see what comes up. Will keep you posted!

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #11

    Ralph Rucci's tubes!  Done in men's silk ties!  Cathy

    1. valentinesday | | #21

      Greast idea! Thank you.

  4. JeanM | | #12

    The book "Fabulous Fashion Doll Clothing You Can Make" by Tina Casey devotes a whole section to making  clothing for small dolls from men's ties.  I've had the book awhile but only recently acquired some ties, so will try this.

    1. valentinesday | | #22

      Thank you for the suggestion, I'll look for the book at the library.

  5. User avater
    JunkQueen | | #13

    my favorite bag to carry is one I made of men's ties. It's a messenger-bag-style made of blue and yellow. I combined the ties with denim and piped the edges using a tie. Embroidered the sides and bottom -- in retrospect, I think too much. I'd post a picture but it needs cleaning -- particularly on the flap -- and I wouldn't want y'all to think I'm a slob. I have another in progress now of making a brown one that is a more structured rectangle shape. Those are the only two I have left. I'm a bit of a sucker when my DIL or friends ask for one.

  6. Ceeayche | | #14

    At this year's Original Sewing and Quilt Expo, http://www.sewingexpo.com, there was a display of wall hangings and accessories all from men's ties.  I don't remember the person responsible for all of the various items, but some were very imaginative.  They ranged from Lamp shades, to garments, to lapquilt-sized works of art.  One in particular was an art quilt that incorprated the ties and I believe a square with an old picture and other multi media things.  Also I got the idea at that event of using ties as trim on an outfit.  For instance piping the neckline of a jacket that's liked in ties....

    Another suggestion is making belts-- they are actually popular right now!


    I've pasted some samples of the belts, including a picture of a "corset necktie belt" at craftster.org-- which includes instructions. Hmmm Holiday gifts?




    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #15

      Nice selection of ideas.  Thanks for posting them!  Cathy

    2. valentinesday | | #23

      Thanks for the photos - the corset belt is intriguing!

  7. LovinToSew | | #16

    A fashion mag. from Paris France, a couple of years ago, featured a dress made from silk men's neck ties.  It was beautiful!   Unfortunately, the owner of the shop I was in cannot locate the mag now.  From what I recall, the ties were sewn together lengthwise, runing the length of the mid-calf dress, with the narrow end at the bodice and the wide end, still in the "V" shape at the hem.  Possibly the ties were sewn together into a fabric on to a backing, then the dress was cut out from the fabric.  The dress was fitted, somewhat like a 'Pricess" style, with a very full skirt.

    If I can figure out how to complete the bodice and sleeves, I plan to make a dress from my husbands reluctantly relinquished ties. 

    If anyone has any suggestions on construction, I would greatly appreciate you insights and input.  Thank you.

    1. valentinesday | | #24

      This sounds exquisite; thanks for sharing the idea.

  8. User avater
    paddyscar | | #17

    I was at a tea today where the young people's group had made purses from men's ties.  They had cut them off about 1/2 way up the tie; folded the cut end under to the back of the tie.  Then folded the remaining fabric toward the point; stitched down both sides; folded the point over and used a button for decoration and they were kept closed with hook and loop tape.  The spaghetti strap was made from the remaining fabric.

    I made a diagram.  I've saved it in a small size, so you can save it to your desktop and enlarge it.

    Edited 11/22/2008 9:00 pm ET by paddyscar

    1. User avater
      rodezzy2 | | #18

      That was a great little project.  Liked it.

      1. User avater
        paddyscar | | #19

        I carry a small purse, but this is smaller than even I use; but the teens/pre-teens seem to like the tiny ones.  Good for a little cash and a house key.

        Although I have started just shoving my credit card holder with a couple of bills in my pocket and leaving the purse at home.

        1. MaryinColorado | | #30

          I love all these great ideas!  Thanks to all who posted the inspiration!  Ties would also make cute cell phone, MP3 player, Nintendo DS, and Ipod cases!  Glass cases and camera bags?

    2. valentinesday | | #20

      Thank you noticing the tie purses, and for taking the time to draw the diagrams. This sounds like a charming way to use ties!

    3. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #25

      Thank you for posting the diagram.  What a perfect learn to sew project!  Cathy

  9. tracy | | #26

    Wow, these are all great ideas! I had a friend years ago who made quilted baby's blankets out of old silk ties. They were true pieces of art; real gems!


    1. User avater
      rodezzy2 | | #27

      Now that's a grand idea.  Baby quilts.  I've been looking for a idea for a baby boy quilt.  There's a baby boy due to my friends DD.  I will start looking in resale shops for ties.  Now, one question, can you wash these or will it have to be dry cleaned?

      1. tracy | | #28

        That's a very good question, rodezzy2. My friend dry cleans hers, but I'm not sure I'd want my baby to be covered with something that was cleaned with some of those chemicals they use for dry cleaning. Sandra Betzina says that you can hand wash silk in shampoo and let it air dry. Don't know if that would work for silk ties, but it might be worth an experiment.

        Happy holidays!


        1. User avater
          rodezzy2 | | #29

          Probably would work.  I'll get some and try, after Christmas.  giggle

        2. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #31

          Yes, you can wash silk.  Yes, you can wash silk ties.  Mild soap, even laundry soap, well diluted, tepid water for wash and rinse, lie flat to dry.  The hand or texture will change, and they will need to be ironed, but it can be done.  You may need to re starch the tie to get the crispness back.  If you are reusing them for something else, you can throw them in a laundry bag to wash in the washing machine, and tumble dry on low until damp.  Then lay them out to finish drying.  My DH messes his ties all the time, and I always wash them and iron them myself.  They need a little more TLC to keep their shape as they are a bias cut, but save $$$ not having them drycleaned.  Cathy

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