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The Origins of the Shelby Knot

Shelby Knot

A lot of styles have been introduced in the tie-tying business over the decades. Most tie-tying methods have been mixed with other methods to form the perfect technique. One of these brilliant mergers of the Nicky Knot and the Windsor Knot is the Shelby Knot. As we move on, I will share some basic information regarding this everlasting tie-tying method.

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What is the Shelby Knot?

The Shelby Knot, also known as The Prat Knot or The Prat-Shelby Knot is a method of tying a tie around one’s neck and collar. The knot was created by Jerry Pratt, who was an employee of the US Chamber of Commerce. The knot was considered a revelatory knot although it has a lot of resemblance with the Nicky Knot. The Shelby Knot is an unusual type of knot using the ‘reverse side out’ method.

The History of Shelby Knot:

It all started when one day, the 92-year-old Jerry Pratt showed up in the television studio to tell the 42-year-old chief anchor of WCCO-TV Don Shelby that he did not know how to tie the perfect knot. Onwards, Mr. Pratt told Mr. Shelby that Pratt would let him know a secret of his which can teach Mr. Shelby how to tie the perfect knot. This knot was supposed to be balanced, well-proportioned and perfectly symmetrical.
The ways of tying the perfect knot which were shown by Mr. Pratt to Mr. Shelby combine to form a term known in the recent times as The Shelby Knot. Shelby then refined the knot made by Pratt with a local clothier known as Kingford Bavender and started wearing it on air with a spread collar. Hence, the rise of a new style in the neck-tying business was witnessed. The Shelby Knot mainly gained popularity in the late 1986’s due to its perfect symmetry and trim precision.

A Closer Look:

The Pratt-Shelby, or more commonly known as, The Shelby Knot is a variation of both the Windsor Knot and the knot notorious to most of the masses, The Nicky Knot. It begins with the tie seam facing outwards and produces a symmetrical and triangular knot. The Shelby Knot produces a medium size between the Four-In-Hand and the Windsor Knot. This knot uses less fabric than a full Windsor, however, produces a knot which can easily be mistaken for it.

How to tie a Shelby Knot?

There are mainly four steps in which you can tie a perfect Shelby Knot.
1. Flip the tie upside down, with the seam facing outwards.
2. Cross the wider part under the narrow end of the tie. Make a loop just like in a Half Windsor.
3. Bring the wide end over the top of the loop and form a triangle.
4. Slip the wide part through the triangular loop and fix the dimple accordingly.

The Shelby Knot is a traditional way to tie your neck tie and is an everlasting method considered highly in the formal dressing code. People have been using this method for a long period of time. Still, this method is followed by most of the people who tie a tie around their necks and collars.

For a visual guide/demonstration of tying the Pratt-Shelby Knot, watch the following YouTube video (done by Don Shelby himself) here:

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