Grenadine: An Italian Classic
Grenadine is a woven silk made exclusively in a handful of mills around Lake Como, in Lombardy, Northern Italy. Its dense weave gives it a complex texture, half-way between plain twill and a casual knit. You need to wear one to get a true sense of it: at a distance, a grenadine tie looks smooth yet unusually rich; up-close it’s a honeycomb of tiny knots.
Grenadines come in one of two weaves: Garza Grossa (literally ‘large gauze’) and Garza Fina (‘fine gauze’). The largest is still denser than a knit, but you can see the individual knots; the smallest is more like the hopsack wool found in summer suits. A solid colour grenadine is an unimpeachable choice in any serious occasion. With a handful of solid colours, you have a versatile formal wardrobe: silver for weddings and other celebrations, black for sober occasions; burgundy and green for business, navy for everything.
But grenadines don’t have to be plain. These weaves also work brilliantly in simple designs such as block and repp stripes, and with woven motifs like pindots. Block stripes are perfect with light navy blazers in summer and flannel odd jackets in winter. Striped grenadines combine the classic sensibility of club and regimental ties with the more modern, individual feel of their distinct fabric and finishing. And bright colours, often unwearable in neckwear, become softer and more refined: try lemon, crimson, and kelly green. Club ties don’t feel stuffy, but modern.
Like espresso and negroni, grenadines are an import that found a permanent home in London. In 1962, Sean Connery famously wore one for his cinematic debut as James Bond in Dr. No, and the grey suit and navy grenadine combination looks as crisp today as ever. Look through the archives of any major Savile Row house over the past half century and you’ll find them.
Our ties give this iconic cloth the first-class treatment: hand-made in England with pure wool interlining, finished either self-tipped, or untipped and masterfully hand-rolled, so that you occasionally see the light gleam through the blade. It’s not upending the classics, but presenting them at their best. These are complex fabrics with a simple appeal. Subtle but sophisticated pieces of high craft that are useful every day.