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In the past I have made two quilts from old neckties and then I gave my leftover collection of neckties away to friends. I have read on the forum about members who also have collected neckties for making quilts. Here's information from a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the waning popularity of neckties that I've adapted for our forum:
Oliver Olsen has a stash of unused ties in the closet. “They’re just hanging up collecting dust,” he said.
Neckties are long gone from U.S. Bank in St. Louis where Mr. Olsen works as a hedge-fund manager. Jeans in the office? Nearly every day of the week, he said. But the 36-year-old fund manager claimed he’s never seen even the CEO wear a tie.
Neckwear is at risk of fading to antiquated wear, joining men’s hats and spats. The shift has triggered a mass tie surplus, with men dumping ties off at Goodwill thrift stores, where they sell used for a dollar or two.
Yet, where some people see fogy, others see opportunity.
Craftspeople are among those trying to spin spurned silk into cash. Merchants on the e-commerce site Etsy offer tie quilts, tie dresses and tie-lined wallets.
“Through Etsy, people contact me and say, ‘Can I give you my ties? I just feel like I can’t throw them away,’ ” said Randi Zubin, an artisan in Cleveland.
Ms. Zubin fashions the silk discards into purses, baskets and fabric pumpkins to sell on Etsy. She dredges raw material from a stash of hundreds of used ties from donors, including her brother-in-law.
Making pillows or purses from ties that belonged to a loved one is part of the surprisingly robust recycled-tie market. Ms. Zubin said: “People want to remember their dad or their father or their husband, so they send me ties.”
Some tie owners are excavating their closets to make a buck. After David Coggins’s girlfriend moved in, the 44-year-old writer pruned Ralph Lauren, Hermès and other high-end ties from his compact New York City apartment.
David Coggins pruned his closet of many high-end neckties.
He sold them in bunches of four and five on Instagram, grouping them by color or pattern. “I woke up one weekend morning and just started photographing them in lots like a crazy person,” he said.
Mr. Coggins’s social-media followers made their selections and coordinated payment via message. So far, has sold about 90 ties and made thousands of dollars. Even after the digital yard sale, he said, he still has “way too many.”
Some necktie resellers have noticed that buyers in Asia covet the American castoffs. Matthew Ruiz, the owner of LuxeSwap, an Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based clothing consignor, has sold hundreds of ties on eBay to customers in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, where businessmen still prefer an old-school look.
His used-tie exports sell on average for between $30 and $75, Mr. Ruiz said, depending on the brand. They largely arrived from closets in New York, Connecticut, Texas and California. Supply, though, still outpaces demand. He has a back stock of some 4,000.
Aaron McWilliams, senior merchandising manager at online consignment site The RealReal, described a healthy demand for used ties from such traditional designers as Hermès, Charvet and Ferragamo.
Buyers look for the brands’ unique prints, Mr. McWilliams said, and see the ties as collectibles. The site currently offers a range of Hermès silk ties with prints that include bunnies and watermelons. It sells most for $75. New Hermès ties usually retail for about $195.
Once required wear for any self-respecting white-collar man, the necktie has since been demoted to a compulsory accessory in less-powerful service occupations—security guard, waitstaff and chain-store manager. On eBay, around 70,000 ties are sold each month, at an average price of $16.70.
That Suits You, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based charity, gives away used suits and ties to the needy. “Forming the organization gave us the opportunity to suit some guys who come home from prison or students who are going out for interviews,” said founder P.K. Kersey. Emails arrive, he said, typically offering to donate ties and other items “that my husband no longer wears.”
Job interviews remain one of the few places where ties are de rigueur, according to employers in industries that span finance to fast-food.
Mr. Olsen, the fund manager, recalled a colleague “really down” on a potential hire who didn’t wear a tie to his interview—even though his co-workers at the bank never do.
For the heck of it, Mr. Olsen wore a tie to the office a few weeks ago. “The person I sit next to asked me, ‘What are you interviewing for?’ ” he said. Not wanting to look like he was looking elsewhere, he retired the tie once again.
Some men are holding on to ties for sentimental reasons. Navid Mokhberi, 39, a vice president at Futek, a sensor technology company in Irvine, Calif., keeps about 30 ties even though he hardly ever wears them. Some are from his late father, and Mr. Mokhberi wants to one day pass them to his young sons. Maybe by the time the boys are men, ties will be back in style.
Weddings, funerals and court appearances are about the only events where men are still expected to wear a tie. More than a few don’t know how.
On YouTube, the five most-viewed “how to tie a tie” videos have collected more than 177 million views.
interesting read. I still have a box of my dad's ties, deconstructed. I've made 5 or 6 NYB blocks, but don't really like how they look and definitely didn't enjoy the process of working with the fabric - slippery silk or bleck poly. So they sit in the box aging. At some point I will likely pitch the lot. There are some sentimental things that are easier to let go of than others.