History of Neckties


There has been no recorded history of the origin of the necktie, but it is believed that the modern form of the necktie originated in the mid seventeenth century at the time of the ‘Thirty Years’ War’. Some historians also point out the origins to as early as 221 BC during the time of China’s first emperor Shih Huang Ti and some others believe it started in the Roman Empire during the period 98 AD to 117 AD. This article will focus on the evolution of the modern form of the necktie, starting with the mid seventeenth century.


The early of form of necktie, which was called as Croats or Cravat (French) remained more or less unchanged until the early 19th century. The major boost to the market of neckties in UK and other parts of Europe started with the industrial revolution during the 18th and 19th centuries. The four-in-hand knot was developed during this period, in the early 19th century which remains the most popular type of knot even today. During this time, necktie became one of the most sought after clothing item and textile companies began mass producing the neckties in response the huge demand. Neckties were introduced as a part of the uniform in schools by around 1880s in the UK.


Neckties around 1880's


The modern form of necktie, which we see today, started evolving during the early 1920s. Paris and New York were the center of action with the necktie makers experimenting with newer designs and color schemes.  The major breakthrough came in the year 1925, when the New York tie maker Jesse Langsdorf developed a new design by cutting and sewing the cloth in a forty five degree multi piece order. The idea behind this was to drape the tie uniformly, without excessive twisting. This style is being adopted even today, with the changes being limited only to the length, breadth, colors and design patterns.


Some of the major landmarks in the evolution of the necktie from 1925-till date are listed below-


  • Windsor knot was discovered in 1936, which is a thicker, symmetrical and triangular knot style


  • Second WW era- Neckties started getting wider with unique design patterns, breaking away from the traditional mold


  • 1950s to early 60s- ties started getting thinner, plain and elegant


The Beatles


  • 1970s and 1980s- Neckties are a must have fashion accessory, being a symbol of elegance, power and responsibility. It started getting used widely in business circles, educational institutions, politics and military and media. The fish shaped necktie was also developed during this period.


  • Today’s neckties are slightly slimmer than those in the 80s and slightly wider than those in the 60s and 70s. There are no specific guidelines on the color and design and today’s neckties are more colorful and plentiful in design.