Bow Tie Tip: Tightening the Knot

Bow Tie Tip: Tightening the Knot

Bow ties are made with different types of fabrics. Some are thin while others are thicker. This leads to variation in how each tie reacts during the tying process.

For me, the challenge is not actually tying them. The difficulty creeps in when it comes to grappling with the differences in fabrics in my tie collection. Some of my thinner ties definitely bend to my will, but they sometimes are flimsy and don’t hold a great shape once tied. On the other hand, thicker ties are harder to get into a tighter knot but hold a nice knot shape better than thinner ones.

Perhaps I should exercise a firmer stance on this, but I typically have large and looser than knots than many other bow tie wearers. One of the reasons for this relates to early on when I started wearing my favorite type of neckwear. Although this doesn’t relate to tying technique, some of my first ties frayed as their blades rubbed up against my beard. I’ve since addressed this through trimming and using beard wax, but I grew concerned about protecting my ties. Thus, I’ve grown weary of doing anything to harm my ties. Ha! Since I’m on the figurative couch, perhaps I should work out this issue…

Regardless, I found this nice video made by Kevin Webster — a bow tie aficionado himself — during which he provides a tip on tightening a bow tie knot without damaging the tie. Here’s the gist of the technique. After forming the knot, part of the adjusting procedure should include tugging the blades near the knot itself. First, one should hold the back blade on one side while pulling diagonally from the front blade on the other side near the knot. Second, this same move should involve the other blades in a similar fashion. After repeating this two or three times, one should have a tight knot.

This is a wonderful tip. Props to Mr. Webster for sharing this advice.