Unlike most ties, which are made with several pieces of fabric sewn together, a seven-fold is made of a single sheet of silk, usually about a square yard, but sometimes up to two and a half. Cut, like all proper neckwear, on a bias, the fabric is then folded seven times into itself, the edges are hand-rolled and hand-stitched. At the end of this lengthy process—which must all be done by hand—is a tie made entirely of silk. Compare this with a standard machine-made tie where a silk shell is lined with wool to give it body and one begins to understand why a seven-fold is superlative. It drapes perfectly and knots without bunching.
That’s the other hallmark of a seven-fold: it makes a substantial knot, especially when worn with a traditional half- or full Windsor. This is dangerous territory, particularly if you are neither Italian (as in, someone who lives in Italy) nor married to Beyoncé. So our advice is, when wearing something as hyper-trad as a seven-fold, undercut its formality with a sleeker, asymmetrical four-in-hand knot. After all, you’re wearing the tie and not vice versa.