At R. Hanauer, we make it a priority to hand select the fabrics for all of our products to ensure the utmost quality and distinction for every bow tie, necktie, and menswear accessory that we create. Behind each different fabric is an interesting history that weaves together and fashions the individuality of each product. Below are three fabrics often found in R. Hanauer collections that have diverse and colorful histories ranging from a classic Chinese silk, a vibrant English cotton, and a southern staple which originated in the east.
Dupioni Silks: Dupioni is known as the attractive, silk fabric that is acknowledged for its crisp touch and luminous look. This specific fabric is quite commonly used in bridal wear and formal garments, and it is most often woven into striped or plaid patterns. Our Mint/Lavender Dupioni Plaid Bow Tie, from our Summer 2018 Collection, is one ideal example of the lustrous nature that the all-silk fabric has to offer, as well as the plaid detailing that is woven in the fabric. It is said that silk originated in China with the use of silkworms through the process of sericulture; however, this specific fabric was only worn by the Chinese Emperors at the time. This made silk a fabric of royalty and high importance. Eventually, silk made its way out of China through exploration and the trade routes known as The Silk Road. Silk fabric not only became highly popular with royalty, but with nobility and the upper class in places such as Italy, France, and England. Dupioni silk is a heavier fabric, and the richness of the colors used in dupioni are often more apparent due to the thickness of the material which is created during the weaving process. When examining a garment made with dupioni silk, such as our Dupioni Pocket Square, the colors are quite dynamically visible, and there is a sheen to the fabric that ultimately makes it an excellent choice for fine accessories.
Liberty London Fabrics: The Liberty London fabric also has a rich and prosperous history. Arthur Lasenby Liberty was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England in 1843. Being the son of a draper, he took apprenticeship under one; however, he left that position to work for Farmer & Rogers’, a company known for quality outerwear. He established himself within the company and soon became affiliated with their imported products, such as art and textiles, which further inspired his passion for intricate eastern designs. From there, Liberty branched out in 1875 and opened his own business, known as the East India House. He became well-known for selling oriental rugs, decorative pieces, artwork, and fabrics, and eventually his company created their own aesthetically pleasing array of colors, known as the “Liberty Colors”. As the times changed, so did the styles of fashion, and Liberty London became the name that housed all of the fabrics and garment designs. Liberty himself began to run in a high-end artistic crowd having close personal relationship with many artists from the Art Nouveau movement. When one thinks of the vibrant works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Gustav Klimt, it's no wonder such color and detail was found in the products created by Liberty. In the 1920’s, Liberty established a line of prints that featured intricate, floral detailing. These prints are best known as the “Liberty Prints,” with the most famously worn fabric being Tana Lawn. R. Hanauer has created several accessories from fine Liberty London fabrics, including the Emma & Georgina Liberty Floral Bow Tie, an all-cotton bow that provides a quintessential nostalgia towards the original Liberty London fabric. Another fine, floral piece is our Poppy’s Meadow Liberty Necktie, which features bright pops of color in an all-cotton design.
Seersucker: Last, but certainly not least, in our home region of the south, we have the iconic Seersucker fabric. Seersucker is a popular choice due to its lightweight, all-cotton fabric, which makes it a most exemplary choice for the heat and humidity. The name seersucker derives from the Persian word “shīroshakar”, meaning “milk and sugar.” The seersucker fabric originated in the warmer British colonies, such as British India, and soon the material became widely popular in the southern regions of the United States. It became a staple fabric in the wardrobes of southern gentlemen, and became a popular choice for southern home decor. The association with seersucker and gentleman’s attire began in 1909 in New Orleans, when Joseph Haspel, Sr. designed seersucker suits for the purpose of professional wear in warm weather. The light wear, puckered fabric is still a fan favorite amongst the sharpest of southern gentlemen. A fun fact about seersucker is that in the late 90’s, United States Senator Trent Lott initiated National Seersucker Day, where congressmen traded in their traditional suits, and instead sported the fun, light fabric. While the original seersucker garments were most often blue and white, today the fabric offers a variety of colors. Our Pink/White Seersucker Cummerbund Set and our Khaki Seersucker Bow Tie both offer a clean, crisp look for the hotter days of the year.