Designing silk ties

Paisley and how new designs begin

The genesis of a design can come from many sources. This blog post looks specifically at the paisley motif and discusses the delights and the pitfalls of the technical process of jacquard weaving.

Continue Reading >

February 05, 2012


Wedding tie tips

Your wedding day is one of life's very special moments. As the man's most visible accessory your choice of tie should match the day. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the groom's tie but traditionally there is a tendency toward white, cream or ivory ties to complement the wedding dress.

If the groom is wearing a white shirt choose a tie with some soft colour contrast such as the Aya Kawa gold 'Peony' tie or a strong textural element that you see in the Aya Kawa white 'Wisteria' or ivory 'Lilium' tie.

Alternatively choose a coloured tie with detailing that incorporates colours in the wedding dress or bouquet.

Similarly the groomsmen's ties should echo the colours in the bridesmaid's dress or bouquet. Careful planning goes into every aspect of the day and it should include considering the balance of colour in the photographs of the bridal party.

Surprise the bride to be with some forward research if you are a bit of a tie buff, as your wedding day has to be the perfect opportunity to splash out on a 'Limited Edition' Aya Kawa tie but don't panic if ties are not normally your thing.

These days not all men wear ties on a regular basis so an advance groomsman gift of tie or cufflinks can be a great way to get together to ensure you are all going to feel comfortable and confident with your look on the day.

The middle road of a Half Windsor knot is quite obtainable with U tube and a bit of practise. If even that is beyond you, ask a confident tie wearing friend to come along and do that for you on the day. Feeling comfortable and looking great means you can focus on the main feature - your bride to be.

September 29, 2011


Wisteria Silk Tie design

The wisteria is one of the first flowers to come to mind when Spring is mentioned. In terms of tie designs it was in the very first series that I designed, primarily because it was a flower that I turned to time and time again in my silk painting. The fluid lines of the flower racemes work beautifully on a tie. The Wisteria design is also one where the motif is designed to sit at the head of the blade and at the knot so that when worn with the jacket done up there is only the subtle hint of detail visible. When the jacket is open the full beauty of the woven silk wisteria design is revealed. The white wisteria silk tie is very popular as a wedding tie whereas the red, navy or black versions are equally suited to business or social occasions.

September 21, 2011


Peony - My first design

The Peony is such a special flower to me. I know that it has all number of imperial connections in Chinese and Japanese mythology but my love affair with peonies began in the Mt Lofty Botanic gardens in South Australia. These gardens are in fact just a few hundred metres up the road from my studio and it was here that I fell in love with the beauty and at the time rarity of the tree peony. I am fortunate in having the right conditions for growing this beautiful plant but in reality I have had rather mixed success. In my mind the image is prolific and has long been an inspiration for my silk painting, so it was only fitting that this royal bloom was the one I chose as my first woven silk tie design. In nature there are such glorious colour combinations some of which I have attempted to capture in this very first series of designs. Painting on silk I had limitless colour choices, but weaving was an extraordinarily different story. The colour palette is strictly limited to 3 or 4 colours  unless you want to end up with a tie so thick that you cannot tie it. However the wonderful aspect of weaving on a 2400 pic jacquard loom is that what I lose on colour palette I pick up on texture, complexity and depth of colour as the light bounces off the raised silk weave. Of course my very first  silk tie design took almost as long as having a baby. Such a new and different world for me although I had been a textile artist for 35 years. What an incredible journey that gets more interesting with every new design. I hope you love it as much as I do.