eldredge variant

To my eyes the ‘Eldredge’ is an absolute beauty, but the solution Jeffrey Eldredge chose for the final move does not exactly leave us with a ‘knot’ in the technical sense of the term. He simply tucks what is left of the narrow end of the tie away under the collar and the loop the tie forms around the neck. That way we depend on the pressure the loop around the neck exerts on the collar for the whole structure not to come apart. To improve this situation I added two ‘through-the-loop’ movements to Jeffrey’s invention. Translated to Fink-Mao notation, my ‘Eldredge’ variant reads like this:
    Ri Co Li Ro Li Co Ri Lo TCi Ro Ci Lo TCi
    ‘T’ means ‘lead the narrow end through the loop you just made,’ the exact same meaning Thomas Fink and Yong Mao had in mind, when they introduced the ‘T’ to their notation. There is no space between ‘T’ and ‘Ci,’ because it is one move— make sure that you go ‘through’ and really ‘center in’ before pulling the loop closed, else disaster is imminent. It requires a bit of concentration and inner quietude to tie, but once done you will have a luscious triangular knot of silk under your chin, which can not disintegrate. Due to the optimal symmetry Jeffrey’s sequence supplies, the finished knot is open to being sculpted to perfect shape. I found it enough for me to go with both thumbs under the knot, to put all the other fingertips on top of the knot, and to slightly press the knot flat.
    Now, the two added moves mirror the pattern visible atop the knot. Due to the asymmetry of the visible structures on the front of the knot, starting with the wide blade to the right or to the left, no more is negligible and may even gain sartorial meaning. The most common pattern found on ties are diagonal stripes. The historical background of the stripes is a thing in itself—for now only so much: In Europe it is common, that the stripes, when looked upon from the front, run from the lower left, to the upper right. Given that we are used to read from the left to the right, the stripes are pointing upwards. In the United States of America, to the contrary, the stripes usually point downwards—no metaphorical allusion to politics or even economics intended.
    The orientation of the structure on the ‘Eldredge’ is dominated by the upper most diagonally running edge of the tie’s fabric. If it is pointing upwards or downwards depends on how you start tieing the knot—with the wide blade to the right, or to the left, and on your choice between the original ‘Eldredge’ and my variant of it with the two through-the-loop moves added. No matter if you wear New-World or Old-World style diagonal stripes, in both cases you have to decide if you want the diagonal on your ‘Eldredge’ follow suit, or counter. Decision made, you have to choose the according procedure of tieing the knot.
    Jeffrey’s subterfuge of tucking the tip of the narrow end away under the collar frees you from any worries about the narrow end showing. Granted, there is the philosophy, that a tie has to be able to move freely. I agree—to a certain degree—in respect to the wide blade. Nevertheless some people are of the opinion, that the narrow end should be free, too. But then again every decent tie has a ‘lead’ on its back, a small sewn-on horizontal loop meant for sticking the narrow end of the tie through it, so it won’t get visible by accident. From this I deduce, that it is sartorial consensus, that the narrow end should stay hidden. Now to the wide blade.
    Due to the ‘Eldredge’ being of the largest order of magnitude possible with a regular tie, and due to it being an almost perfect equilateral triangle, the tie’s wide blade blossoming out of the sharp vertex pointing downwards, a broad tie—maybe even a ‘kipper’ of 1970s fame—is mandatory for achieving æsthetical proportions. You may object, that kipper ties are out of fashion, but a 1950s narrow tie, like they recently seem to have come back to fashion, emerging from the voluminous ‘Eldredge’ just looks plainly ridiculous. I just can say, remember Lord Whimsy’s dictum: ‘Fashion is for those who have yet to understand style.’

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