Ancient Madder Accessories

Much like the seasons, every autumn we see a change in men’s accessories, in particular the wearing of what is referred to as ‘Ancient Madder’ ties and pocket squares. We have all seen the wonderfully muted colours in shades mustard yellow, red, faded green, brown and indigo blue but we may not know the tale behind these prints.

Originally, the dyes used in making these colours were plant based with a history that literally goes back to ancient times. However, inĀ  the 19th century a shift occurred when two English chemists were able to chemically synthesize the colouring agent found in madder root and reduced the cost of the dye. Even with this accomplished, the steps involved to produce these classic madder accessories are many and the process can almost be considered a lost art.

Some shops selling these seasonal standouts include Drake’s London, Brooks Brothers, Paul Stuart and Shibumi in Berlin.




Joseph Fields