Circa 1939-1941 Fashionknit square bottom knit tie features horizontal bands of khaki green and brick, beautifully marled and with flecks of white and yellow. The dense, soft weave appears to be a silk-wool blend, with the knit yarn visibly lustrous through a loupe but slightly nubby to the touch and the naked eye. The neck is faced in a strip of forest green silk.
The knit tie trend revived in 1939 and continued into the following year; a 1940 fashion forecast for menswear notes “the return of the narrow crochet or knit tie, which can be purchased in either wool or wool and silk mixtures. These come in solid colors and in stripes, and promise to be a favorite everywhere”. Knit ties were favored by the campus set, with cross striped examples (as here) said to have “collegiate stripes”.
The label, attached to the (fractionally slimmer) blade, reads “Genuine Fashionknit, Trademark Registered”. Trademarked by Manhattan’s Franklin Knitting Mills in the 1910s, with multiple design patents for it granted in the 20s and 30s, Fashionknit neckwear continued to be produced for decades.
Fashionknit tie styles of course evolved over the years; one of the earliest was a wide, open ended “imperial scarf” in 1912, and the 20s and 30s saw plenty of gorgeous deco pattern weaves. But there was an astonishing consistency to the brand, from its unchanging trademark font and mainstay striped square bottom ties (which first appeared c. 1920), to the neckband facing that showed up sometime in the 20s and became a signature feature. Photo #6 shows a 1929 ad for a cross striped, square end knit tie (with matching sweater and golf hose) that is quite similar to the one being offered here.
The neck facing is embossed—so faintly as to be be mostly illegible—with the words “Lindbrook’s Boston”. Lindbrook’s menswear store was opened in 1939 by the three Wolf brothers, grandsons of late 19th and early 20th century retailer Bernard M Wolf (who also sold menswear, under the rubric “My Clothier”). As the store went out of business in 1942, the circa dating for this tie was very straightforward!
Additional writing on the neck facing is present, and appears to give the design name: “_uff-n-Fluff” (likely either Tuff-n-Fluff or Ruff-n-Fluff, to emphasize the tie’s durability and boucle-like fabric).
Measuring 45” long by 2.5” across the front blade, this unusual and handsome knit tie is in excellent condition.
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