Fabric Wallet Idea, made from ties…who came first commercially?

by Mark Ward October 19, 2016

Fabric Wallet Idea, made from ties…who came first commercially?

Birth of the Fabric Wallet, from Ties

​As many of you who follow Narwhal’s success know, it’s that we started building the fabric wallet from vintage men’s polyester ties in early 2007 in Venice Beach, California. When we say we were the “original recycled tie accessory” we’re not kidding.  We’ve not found anyone who started doing this commercially before we did.  Does it really matter?  I suppose not, except we live and breath these products, so in a jealously guarded kind-of-way, we do care.

If you’re a Kickstarter junkie like me, then you know that it’s full of wallets…not just a few, but BAZILLIONS of wallets of one sort of another.  This is actually talked about in a blog post on Kickstarter titled, “Why are there so many wallets on Kickstarter?".  

In the second paragraph of the article it mentions a tie project by owner Laura Skelton using ties for a fabric wallet.  On the project page it mentions “a new line of eco-friendly wallets made from vintage menswear (neckties!), inspired by the time-honored style of iconic male figures.”  Hmmm, with her project in 2011 you’d think she invented the idea.  Well, she did start in 2007 too, but I’m still pretty sure she didn’t and I’m pretty sure we weren’t the first either, but regardless, the idea of a recycled wallets from clothing has been around since the early days of "recycle, reuse, repair or replace” was the mantra of struggling families.

But unlike others, we're still doing it!  The problem with a product line such as Narwhal's is production capacity.  We can’t outsource to China for manufacturing, we can’t take wide swaths of fabric to cut and sew into our products.  In order to maintain the integrity of our brand and products we’re required to take real vintage ties, salvaged from the disco years of the 1970’s, break them down, iron, cut and sew them into the unique, one-of-a-kind master pieces you see and buy today.

If you don’t see a design you like on the site today, get on our mailing list so as new ones are added you can be informed.  We can sometimes get 2 wallets from the same tie, but generally, we can only get 1 wallet style per tie, so they truly are unique wallets.
Be unique, be green, just buy a fabric wallet from us.

Mark Ward
Mark Ward

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