leslie's guiding traditions

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From the 1920s through to 1968, Brownies, Guides and Rangers all wore folded ties.  The ties came as a triangle, which could be used as a triangular bandage, and it was folded in a particular way, to form a necktie shape.  When tied, the tie was meant to be a set width, and it was decreed that the end of the tie should be three finger-widths above the belt when worn.  Instructions for folding the tie are below, from the 1966 edition of "The Brownie Book" - the then Brownie Handbook.  Brownie ties came in too colours.  Initially, all were brown, but in the 1930s the option of gold coloured ties was introduced, provided the whole pack wore the same.

To begin, start with an ironed tie, if possible also starched.  Fold the bottom end up to the hem, making sure all ends lie neatly and smoothly.

Then fold the long edge down by about 1/3, again taking time to smooth out all of the ends neatly.

Then fold the bottom end up to meet the edge as shown, again making sure all ends are even and smooth.

And fold the top edge down again, to create a narrow strip.  It's now time to turn it from a strip of fabric into a necktie.


Now take the strip, turn it round 90 degrees, and fold 1/3 of the length up the back.  Fold 1/3 of the length at the front down and across at a right angle.  Then wrap it round the back of the fabric strip and bring it back round to the front.  Then tuck this working end up through the loop at the front, so you have two ends sticking up like the picture below.

You should then end up with a tie shape, like the one shown, with a loop at the bottom and two ends available to fasten it round the neck.  Firstly, take a moment to tidy up the ends and make sure it is lying neatly, with no hems showing.  Then fasten it at the back of the neck with a reef knot, and ensure the collar is lying neatly.  Nowadays, we often find it necessary to sew pieces of tape on either end, to give longer lengths to tie with - people nowadays are built rather differently to what was the norm in past decades.  Once the tie is on, add a Promise badge (polished front and back) in the middle of the tie.