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Making a man’s cravat

moira | Posted in Fitting on

I’m making cravats for a wedding, the type that have a folded, stitched band which will fit around the outside of the shirt collar, and two wider ends. I borrowed a template from a gents’ wear hire shop, but the two ends of this are the same length as each other. It seems to me that, if the ties are to be tied in a Windsor knot, there should be a long and a short end. Can anyone guide me on this?


  1. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #1

    Cravats aren't tied in a Windsor knot, sometimes if they're long enough you can use the four-in-hand. (the simpler of the modern tie knots)  Usually they're tied with an ascot or a bow tie.

    Ascot: tie a loose square knot, left over right, then right over left.  Arrange the center so it sits nice and then put the left end over the right end and tie tack them in place.

    Bow tie: tie an overhand, take the bottom most end and make a loop, wrap the top end over it vertically.  Make a loop in the top end and stuff it behind the bottom loop, just like tieing your shoes.

    I hope my instructions are comprehensible without photo's.


    1. moira | | #2

      Hi Costumerval! It seems that the trend here in the U.K. at the minute is in fact for these to be tied in loose big knotted Windsors, Perhaps your answer explains why the ends of the template are even, as the bow or the Ascot are both symmetrical, but the fact that they're to be tied in Windsors may mean I just adjust the template for that purpose. i.e. a long and a short end. Thanks for your reply.

      1. User avater
        CostumerVal | | #3

        Wow!  Yes indeed, you'll have to add a couple of inches to one side for sure.  Here in the US the cravat is still only worn for period reinactment or wedding parties, and it's always tied in an ascot knot with a "tie pin".  More often then not a stud earring.

        You might try making a windsor knot in a modern tie on either your dress form or your man, and mark the beginning and end of the knot on both the neck and the two tie ends with tape or safety pins, then untie it and measure the difference on both sides to see how much longer length you'll need on one end for that knot. 

        Those super fat ties from the '70's aren't comming back as well are they? Oi!

        Post pictures when your finished.   Val

        1. moira | | #4

          Yes, after reading your first reply I began to think I needed to do just what you then suggested in your second! Not having been closely involved with menswear at weddings, it hadn't registered that they really are using one style of tie to make a knot for which it's not designed. So I'll do what you suggest and work out the length from that. Thanks.Mmm. I don't know about the return of big knots in ordinary daywear, but nothing would surprise me!

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