leslie's guiding traditions

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From the 1920s through to 1968, Brownies, Guides and Rangers all wore a tie which had to be folded in a specific way.  Brownie ties were initially brown, although the option of a dark yellow shade was later introduced, provided the whole unit wore the same.  Guide companies could choose their colour - a number of plain colours were available through Guiding.  School units could choose to wear their school tie instead.  


The Brownie handbook eventually included instructions for how to transform the triangular tie into a folded tie, which I have included - to help clarify, I have inserted some extra pictures showing the steps their instructions somewhat skim over . . .

It's best to start with the tie carefully ironed, and if possible, also starched.  Lay out the tie flat, face down so you can see the seams, and fold the bottom tip of the tie up to the hem, as shown.  (In the diagrams, dotted lines show the latest fold which has been made.)

Now, fold the top hem down by 1/3, making sure that the tie continues to lie flat and smooth.  

And fold the bottom edge up by 1/3 also, to meet the edge of your previous fold.

And one last fold, to create a narrowfold, or tri-fold bandage.


In the 1960s, this is where the Brownie handbook's instructions stopped.  It was up to the Brownie to suss out for herself how turn this narrow strip of bandage into a tie.  The following pictures may help plug that gap.

Fold the strip so that there is around 1/3 of the length at the back, and 2/3 of the length at the front.  Then fold the strip of the bandage across to the right, at a right angle, as shown.  

Then take the end from the right, and swing it around the back of the tie, continuing to keep it straight.  Keep tucking in folds and straightening as you do this.

Take the end you have been wrapping round, and tuck it up the loop which you have made at the front of the tie.  Then tidy up the knot at the front, and the loop front of the tie, so there are no bits of hem sticking out.  You should now have a necktie, which is rectangular at the base, and with two loose ends to tie round the neck.

Back to the handbook pictures, and this is the result you should have achieved.  You should now adjust the length of the bottom section, as according to the rulebook, the tie has to be worn with the straight bottom edge eactly three fingers above the belt.  The two loose ends are tied behind the back of the neck, in a reef knot.


The Promise Badge would then be pinned in the middle of the rectangular section.


Where ties were not long enough, it was not unknown for people to stitch lengths of tape onto the two corners at the long edge of the tie, to make it possible for the tie to be worn at the right length, without it being too tight at the neck.  Nowadays that is commonly required.

In the mid-1960s the Guide tie was replaced by a mini-necker, which tucked through a couple of loops on the blouse.  In 1968 a new crossover tie was brought in - a yellow ready-stitched tie for Brownies, and one for Guides which was secured by fastening the crossover with the Guide Promise Badge, as shown on the left.  By this time Rangers no longer wore ties as their blouse was designed to be open-necked.


In 1983, the Guide tie changed to a rolled necker, worn with a woggle.  Brownies continued with their crossover tie until 1990, when the uniforms changed for all sections, and Brownies also had the option of a necker with woggle, in yellow.