August 31, 2020 3 min read

The Different Parts of a Necktie

Ah, the old anatomy lecture. Has anything ever made you more uncomfortable than when you were in school and the teacher brought out that terrifying anatomy mannequin? Yeah, didn’t think so. Luckily, we’re not talking about the human anatomy here (thank goodness!) Instead, we’re going to break down the different parts of a necktie in our guide below. Let’s get into it.

The Shell, The Tail, and The Blade

The shell is the handsome part of the tie—it’s the outermost fabric that provides the color or design of your tie. The shell covers a necktie’s tail and blade. To better illustrate the situation, imagine you’re wearing a tie. The blade is the lower and thicker part of your tie. When you tie your necktie, the tail is the part of a fabric that’s behind the blade and usually tucked into the keeper loop.

Now, if you ever bought any other tie, you probably noticed the tail doesn’t always reach the keeper loop. We purposely place the keeper loop higher on Tough Ties so the tail will always stay secure. During the production process, manufacturers cut the shell and most other layers in the tie on their true bias. In plainer terms, that means the fabric’s cut at a 45-degree angle, allowing the fabric to lay flat and enabling you to look your best.


Underneath the shell is a part called the interlining. Essentially, interlining is an added layer of fabric that supports the tie’s shape by providing extra weight. Before interlining became popular, ties were prone to twisting and wrinkling. Talk about annoying, right? We use top-quality fabrics, so you’ll never experience twisting with a Tough Tie.

Bar Tack? More Like Iron-Lock Stitch

Traditionally, the back of neckties had what was called a “bar tack.” A bar tack is supposed to hold the two sides of the shell together. The problem is, a bar tack usually breaks after a few wears, if you’re lucky, and your tie ends up falling apart. Next thing you know, you’re putting your tie back together, and it feels like you bought it from Ikea. Don’t worry, they probably didn’t give you all the parts. Instead of a bar tack, Tough Ties use an Iron-Lock stitch with five times the stitching of other ties.

The Tip

The bottom of most ties ends in a triangular tip with plain fabric on the back and the shell’s fabric covering the front, but not Tough Ties. Think of all the times you get a smudge on your glasses or cell phone and wish you had something to buff it out. Well, with a Tough Tie, now you can. Every Tough Tie comes with a microfiber back tip to easily get those smudges out.

Now that you know the different parts of a necktie, you’re ready to wear a tie with confidence. In the process, you also learned a few reasons to get a Tough Tie, but here’s one more: they’re machine washable!

That’s right—if the idea of machine washable ties intrigues you, you need to check out Tough Apparel. In addition to awesome ties, we have ratchet belts, socks, face masks, and accessories to help you look your best at all times. Check out our online shop today!

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