Real Ancient Madder silk has been a staple in the connoisseur's closet for many years. It is easy to appreciate the rich yet subtle colors of ancient Madder red, indigo blue, buff or green, but what exactly does Madder mean and why is it so popular?
For centuries, madder dye was derived from the Rubua Rubiaceae plant, which is the reason it is often referred to as ancient Madder. The madder red color is created by using alizarine, which is obtained by grinding the roots of the plant. Starting in the 1860s, the red dye could be produced in a lab, and today, all madder colors must be produced chemically, yet the name remains the same.
1. Real Ancient Madder. Only a few silk printers are capable of producing madder silks anymore. Fort Belvedere sources its fabric from England, the home of Real Ancient Madder.
2. Chalky feel. Madder ties feature a distinctive chalky feel, which is achieved by adding the formerly stripped natural gum back to the silk. This complicated process results in beautiful, rare fabric which makes you look particularly debonair:
3. Made by hand with a fine cotton interlining, resulting in a crisp look and soft feel.
4. The ends are pointed and the shape is classic, providing you with a unique combination that is perfect for social gatherings or business.
5. It's easily adjusted to any size and if preferred, the knot can be left tied and the back hook can be opened instead. However, untying the bow tie is recommended to avoid wrinkles and premature aging.
6. All Fort Belvedere butterfly bow ties with pointed ends feature the middle center hook allowing you to mix and match different bow ties halves to create unique looks.
7. The tied bow tie will have dimensions of approx. 4" by 2" or 10 cm by 5 cm.
Ideally, a bow tie should never be tied to look perfectly symmetrical. because it would look too much like a pre-tied cheap version, and who wants to look cheap? Instead, you should tie your bow tie with a bit of nonchalance or sprezzatura, meaning intentionally off kilter with one end a little longer than the other, one side higher than the other, or a tight or a loose knot to achieve bow tie perfection. One of the great bow tie wearers was Winston Churchill and he always wore a very debonair, slightly askew bow tie. Most modern bow ties suffer from poor interlining and boring shapes - not so with this Fort Belvedere bow tie. Inspired by the 1930's, this bow tie shape is much smaller than the versions from the 1970s or even the 1990s, resulting in a more subtle, sophisticated appearance. If you combine this bow tie with any other pointed Fort belvedere bow tie, you can mix patterns and textures for example madder paisley with wool challis polka dot.
This purple paisley Madder bow tie looks particularly great with all shades of blue or green but would also work work with linen, tropical worsteds or tweed. The rich deep purple has little paisleys in green and red. Would pair well with a madder silk pocket square and a boutonniere.
Simply untie your bow just like you would untie your shoes - your bow tie will last longer and look better that way. Store it hanging or laying flat, it is up to you.
This bow tie comes in heavy Fort Belvedere box, perfect unadorned for a gift box, storage or travel.
If you have questions, or need style advice in choosing a bow tie for yourself or someone else, let us know, we are happy to help.