Is There Any Real Value to Cutting Ties Cross Grain?

I have a tie pattern which requires that I cut those long narrow pieces cross grain. That is, to cut the thing 45 degrees to the selvage and leave a lot of fabric to either side not efficiently usable for other items. This is especially true given I would make ties out of the more expensive fabrics I have in my store. Yes, it’s getting to the point where I’m feeling I have a store. 🙂

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a little trouble listening to patterns. They need to talk a little louder or something, I guess. So I want to know from you if there were any real value to cutting ties cross grain?

I’ve done some research, not being lazy and with access to Google, but I haven’t come up with anything satisfactory. Burda says cutting cross grain will allow the skirt, draped top or tie to fall more fluidly. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but if a tie falls down straight when I first tie it, that’s pretty good to me. I don’t particularly care if it falls more fluidly or just falls. I’m not giving points and neither is anybody else about how it falls. I can’t imagine cutting the tie on the bias would prevent it from falling and hanging down straight. Hanging fabric with the bias vertical looks pretty straight to me.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had a different answer. Funny where you can find information, eh? They said ties are cut diagonally across the fabric grain so they will stay tied better, Stay tied better? From what do they make their ties? Or how are they tying their ties? If you tie a tie well, it’s a little hard to slip or come loose, from my experience. So I’m not buying that, either.

A history of neck ties said that in the 1940s, ties were expertly cut, and lined, to ensure a satisfactory fit and appearance. That sounds like a craftsmanship issue to me, not a practical issue or requirement. The history also said this “was the apparent increase in uniformity”, which would definitely not be what I’m after if you could see some of the fabric I have set aside possibly for making ties.

So has any one here sewn ties, or had training in them, or know enough about this issue to tell me whether cutting ties cross grain is really necessary in order to get a decent functioning tie? Please tell me why if so. I haven’t been convinced so far, but that may just be a matter of presentation.

And if you don’t care for making ties and such, hopefully, you’ll just enjoy the history of ties. I love what you can find online! Thank you!



18 thoughts on “Is There Any Real Value to Cutting Ties Cross Grain?”

  1. I believe ties are cut on the bias because it is easier to make a nice “knot”. The bias allows the fabric to stretch somewhat which allows the knot to be smoother. You might try knotting just a piece of similar fabric which has been cut on the straight grain as if you were tying your tie and then contrast it with a piece cut on the bias to see what difference it makes. I also think the fabric will get a “memory” which means that it will lie smoother each time you knot it because the bias allows it some stretch. I think you will note that any interfacing will be woven and also cut on the bias.


  2. I am with Lorna on the need for bias, memory and tying the knot. I too would suggest that you try both bias cut and cross grain cut on a cheap piece of fabric from your store and let us know what you discover.


    1. Thanks, Lorna and Sheila. You mean I’d have to make TWO ties just to see? Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking I’d make one tie with the bias, if that’s the term for parallel to the selvage (I don’t know the term!). Unless it was below my expectations in performance when I wore it, I wasn’t going to bother with the diagonal cut version. I was hoping someone could save me a tie, but if not, I’ll take my chances. Worse I could do is end up with two before I find out. Why not take a risk on faith for one in case it’s good enough? I try and do my research but if not, then I take my risks, being a calculated risk taker. 🙂


  3. I really want to know too. I am an awning guy and when making binding for the valance from scratch, all I know is it won’t work unless it’s cut on the bias. It has some merit just don’t know what.


    1. I have read that one reason for having binding on the bias is so that if the threads wear, it will different threads that wear. Hope I am explaining that correctly. i.e. When binding placemats etc., which will wear in the washing machine.


  4. Fabric cut on the bias (ie diagonal not straight with the direction of the weave) will stretch smoothly round curves which is why it’s used for ties and on your awning Biff.
    I’ve seen *some* ties cut on the straight of the grain (parallel with the selvedge) but they’re unusual and maybe they don’t work so well.


  5. I am trying to make ties from old damaged kimonos, the fabric is only 14 inches wide, so I am in a predicament. It’s either cut it on grain or have lots of seams across the front…


    1. That’s a very interesting idea, Laura! Can you post some links or pictures to your finished products? Good luck! I haven’t tried this myself, getting into other garments but it’s still on my to do list. I’m not much of a tie guy but I’m designing something that could go with them so they’ll have value in my life again soon to motivate me to try again with more priority.


  6. This might be a bit of an older thread but I feel like it earns a proper answer.
    For the record, I am a professional seamstress and when I first started making ties, I asked this question myself, so I experimented.

    Hacing done both I find there to be very little difference in the quality of the tie. A lot of this has to do with type of fabric but if you are using interfacing then, in my opinion, it really doesn’t matter. The point of interfacing being to keep something from stretching in awkward ways.

    Many pinstriped suits are vertical and thus a angled striped tie offers a bit of contrast to this regularly seen pattern. It is in my professional opinion that since a great many ties offer such striped patterns, subtle or otherwise, that this is the cause for the bias cut. If your fabric has no pattern, or perhaps a pattern that looks better straight, then go for it. The quality will not suffer.


  7. I volunteered to make a bunch of skinny ties (2 inches wide) for a show. They will be white. I really don’t want to piece together bias-cut pieces. If the fabric is fluid enough, could I just put wrong sides together, sew, and turn? Thanks.


  8. I am also a professional seamstress and men’s accessories are my specialty. The need to cut a tie on the bias depends somewhat on the fabric you are using. If it is a stiff fabric you MIGHT be able to get away with cutting on the cross or length grain. But most ties are not made of stiff fabrics. In that case they must be cut on the bias or else you can expect your tie to curl at the bottom sooner or later (in my experience, within a day of wear) just because gravity wants to stretch it but the cut of the grain won’t allow for it. A quality tie will be cut on the bias and if you are making several ties, it won’t greatly reduce the yield of your fabric. If you are only making one, that’s when you do sacrifice fabric.


    1. This is very interesting — thanks for all the input. Andrea, the “curling” is a point I hadn’t considered. I want to make a blouse with a tie-neck, and a bias one will mean that I can’t get long sleeves out of the 1.25 yards I have, which also seems somewhat wasteful. My fabric is a rayon crepe (thin-nish) with both sides the same, whereas a necktie would have a lining side and edges finished towards the back. Thinking of the Kleibacker bias ties, the biasness meant they stretched more than the stitching, correct? I saw an article (in Threads?) showing a specific stitch used to make bias ties, so when stretched, the stitching would enable the fabric to stretch. I wonder if the bias-ness helps it go around the neck, without having to cut a curvy piece of fabric (that’s shaped like a “contour” waistband).


      1. I can understand that. I once tried to make a tie on length grain in rayon challis (because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut on bias) and it curled no matter what I did to it. So I would steer you away from trying it with your rayon crepe. And yes, the most rudimentary way to stitch something on bias if you need it to stretch is to use a zigzag stitch, or you can use a chain stitch if you have a machine capable of it, or some variation of a back stitch if stitching by hand.


  9. What is the purpose of cutting material at the 45 degree angle when stitching the 2 pieces of a tie together? I am making a tie from thin jean material that is factory stitched in square pieces. Also, Using this type material, will that allow for proper stretching buy cutting it perpendicular ? Or is that a mistake to cut both pieces perpendicular THEN sewing together to make the proper length. Please help this guy!!!


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