The Grenadine Tie

Grenadine-TiesA staple of the Connery Bond wardrobe is the dark solid tie. In Dr. No and From Russia With Love that tie was always a dark navy grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser. Let’s not confuse that with the knitted silk ties that he wears throughout Goldfinger. While the grenadine might look similar in texture to the knit tie, they are completely unrelated. I’m sure you’re familiar with the knitted tie, which somewhat resembles a sock. It’s a tube of knitted silk with a straight hem at the bottom, though some are made with triangular bottoms. The knitted tie is a casual tie (which might seem like an oxymoron these days) and disliked by many. Yet the literary James Bond wears it, and the film Bond occasionally wears it as well.

But for now we will discuss the grenadine tie. Grenadine silk is woven, not knitted, in a gauze or leno weave. The weave is very open yet very stable. Whilst in typical weaves the yarns go over and under each other, the grenadine weave adds a third dimension to the weave by having warp yarns also twist around weft yarns. The grenadine tie is constructed like any normal tie: it has folds, an interlining and, of course, a triangular tip. It’s a luxurious silk, very delicate and much more formal than a knitted tie. In black it makes an excellent funeral tie, and this is exactly what James Bond wears to the funeral at the beginning of Thunderball.

I know of two weavers of grenadine silk, Fermo Fossati and Seteria Bianchi, both in Italy. Most of the grenadine tie makers get their silk from these weavers. There mainly are two different types of grenadine silk: Garza Grossa (pictured above) and Garza Fina (below left), the former being the type that James Bond wore. Turnbull & Asser still sells Garza Grossa grenadine ties, and they can also be found at many other stores on Jermyn Street and elsewhere. You may also find “mock” grenadine (below right), which can still be very nice.

GrenadineSean Connery wears grenadine ties in all of his James Bond films except Goldfinger. When Roger Moore brings traditional English clothing back to the Bond series in For Your Eyes Only, he also brings back the grenadine tie with one suit.

22 thoughts on “The Grenadine Tie

  1. I started watching James Bond movies in my middle school years. Pierce Brosnan was my generation's Bond and still is, and he inspired my own sense of style from that early age. In many ways, Bond influenced me more than anybody else in my life. Its thanks to 007 that I never dressed solvenly in my teens/early 20s like so many others my age. Now at 25, Im still the best dressed person I know!! :)

    Your blog is a welcome addition to my daily reading. Keep up the good work.

  2. The more I read the more I wonder, how would you Matt, have Bond dress in BOND 23?

    Perhaps that's a question for later though, as Dr. No is still being covered!

  3. Grenadines are lovely and a staple in my wardrobe and I think that they are more practical than the knits.

    Unfortunately the ones you get at shops are very thick and result in large knot (four in hand).

    I get mine from Sam Hober, who custom makes them, and I specify them with a thinner inner lining which allows a smaller knot…more like Sir Sean!!!

  4. I got a midnight blue grenadine from Hober in a narrower width so I could tie mine the same. It's a fantastic tie!

  5. So, how close is the current version of the Turnbull & Asser Navy Grenadine tie to that in Dr. No?

  6. Matt,
    I remember you told me before Sean Connery wore different shades of blue grenadines, and was wondering. Would he wear lighter shades of blue to offset his navy suit albeit being a darker color and therefore making his grenadines stick out?

  7. Great article. What do you think of the grenadine ties on the house of ties website? It looks like they have three versions of the navy tie, each of different widths. Do you think the weave also differs between the versions?

    • I see. Which of the two grossa versions would be the best width match for Connery’s in your opinion, 8cm or 7.5cm?

    • In Dr. No they were probably around 8cm, and more like 7.5cm after that. 8cm won’t look as silly after the current fashion trends pass, and that’s what I would recommend.

  8. Matt do you recommend the Linkson Jack ties featured on the top right of the page? Do they closely resemble the ones used in the films?

    • Yes, I recommend them. They are very well made. If you get a tie custom made from them, request that the back side of the silk be used for something like what Turnbull & Asser makes. I’ve discussed that with Linkson and they can do it.

    • I wouldn’t even consider it an “alternative”. It’s a real grenadine at a fantastic price. Grab it while it’s still available!

  9. I just purchased an 8cm plain blue silk grenadine from Marks & Spencer for £17.50 Bargain.
    I think I’ll buy a few more, in different colours… The only thing to bear in mind is the raised texture of the weave may incur a risk of snagging.

  10. Hi Matt,
    The linkson jack link on the right side of the page doesn’t work. Was there previously a discount promotion if redirected through this site?

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