How to jazz up a solid silk necktie?
May 20, 2012 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Boyfriend has a solid-colored teal silk necktie he was forced to buy for a wedding. He says he'll never wear it again in it's current state as it is too "prom-y". Anything I can do to either a) make the tie more interesting (ex. a pattern) and thus wearable or b) put it to some other crafty use?

Already checked Instructables for this one, so hello hive-mind.
Most of the things I've found are for using up many neckties, but I just have the one.
Ideally I'd like him to be able to use it as a tie (rather than making it into, I don't know, a cell phone case or something), but I'm open to other ideas.
Adding some sort of pattern or other treatment is preferable (but tie-dye, dip-dying, or just randomly throwing some bleach on there is not really his thing... if you have a super cool example I could show him it might change his mind though).
I have also thought about freezer paper "silkscreening" but feel it's likely to look cheap and/or not work well (or at all) on silk.

So, any ideas?
posted by jorlyfish to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you draw a design on it with a bleach pen?
posted by flex at 8:04 PM on May 20, 2012

You might find some ideas in this post of mine on things to do with neckties.
posted by orange swan at 8:06 PM on May 20, 2012

If you decide to just give up on it you can use it to dye easter eggs.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:08 PM on May 20, 2012

If there is a particular icon, emblem, animal (i.e. wolf, eagle), or other meaningful symbol, perhaps embroidery (hand or machine), with masculine type decorative stitches up the side, and the emblem tastefully centered, would work.
posted by batikrose at 8:10 PM on May 20, 2012

Make a snake! or a belt!
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 8:16 PM on May 20, 2012

I know a guy who has a tie with a screenprinted cat shooting laser beams out of its eyes on it. It's awesome.

You can do something similarly awesome using freezer paper stenciling. (Google for tutorials.)
posted by phunniemee at 8:26 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

You can overdye it without doing tie-dye. I bet a navy silk tie would be a little more classy than a teal one. Rit dyes work really nicely on silk.
posted by fancyoats at 8:30 PM on May 20, 2012 [7 favorites]

Sounds like he doesn't like the color. I'd dunk it in Rit (probably a darkish blue to deepen it) and see what turns out. If you want to get fancy, an ombré pattern might be nice.
posted by susanvance at 8:31 PM on May 20, 2012

Hm. Solid color ties work so well with patterned shirts. Seems a shame to waste it. I'd take it with you on a shirt-shopping trip and find a shirt that would be hard to pair with a patterned tie.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:36 PM on May 20, 2012

Response by poster: Orange Swan -- wow! Again, most of these are for many ties, but I will definitely have to sift through that blog you linked to.

Fancyoats and Susan-- He just doesn't want a solid tie. Color is probably ugly, but he thinks all solid-colored ties are too matchy/prommy.

Screenprinting seems like an option...
posted by jorlyfish at 8:37 PM on May 20, 2012

iPhone wristlet!here
posted by JacksonandFinch at 8:39 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

I used to use my dad's old ties to make kite tails. Worked pretty well.
posted by brennen at 9:15 PM on May 20, 2012

I would embroider it with a very small-footprint allover pattern. Something tiny and awesome, I dunno, tiny cat faces or atoms or something. Single strand of silk thread, catching just the top (right side) layer of fabric.
posted by peachfuzz at 9:30 PM on May 20, 2012

Solid colour ties are actually really in style right now, much more than patterned ties. I find a lot of guys are more familiar with patterned ones, since that's what they grew up with and therefore that's what they like. But maybe opening his eyes to the fashionable-ness of his tie might help? (See: GQ 'guide to suits' in which almost all the ties are solid colours)
posted by Kololo at 10:25 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Um, I'm in need of a solid teal tie for my wedding, since it matches the soon-to-be-wife's shoes. Do you happen to have a photo of it/would you be willing to sell it? (Mefi Message if you'd like.)
posted by disillusioned at 1:39 AM on May 21, 2012 [10 favorites]

Overdyeing would work, as would silk paints.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:28 AM on May 21, 2012

You can find a great image and print it on a fabric iron on (found in places like Staples) and iron it onto the tie. Or you can donate the tie!
posted by Yellow at 5:20 AM on May 21, 2012

Buy a plastic buckle in a contrasting color and make a bracelet for yourself. The bracelet that gets me the most compliments is one made out of a 70s necktie that someone craftily put a red plastic buckle on. You can't even tell it used to have a life as an ugly necktie.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:10 AM on May 21, 2012

I used to use silk from old neckties to patch holes in my jeans. It held up rather well considering the abuse I subjected it to. Whether you all are able to pull off this look - hell, whether I managed to pull it off - is an open question.

I would hesitate to fabric-paint or iron-on any designs without a lot of confidence in my artistic abilities, and an advance test to make sure the process would adhere well and look nice when finished.
posted by expialidocious at 10:21 AM on May 21, 2012

Resistor necktie. Plus, teal isn't an odd background color for a resistor. Pick whatever color bands you like.

The walkthrough is a tutorial to create the necktie from scratch, but you could probably pick an easy method to attach the stripes (stencil+fabric paint, sewing fabric stripes on, or embroidery).
posted by neda at 4:13 PM on May 21, 2012

I am the cat tie owner. It's printed by mega-Detroit artist Bethany Shorb ( ). You can screen onto silk ties and it comes out fantastically. Here's a tutorial on how to burn and print at home,-Dirty,-and-At-Home/

Plan B. You can always put the tie on an animal. Animals look amazing in ties.
posted by TaconibsPHD at 8:06 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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