At Robert Keyte we don’t just trust anyone with manufacturing our product, so we print, weave and make all our accessories in our own mill & workshops
This is part of a unique tradition that has perfectly served the Robert Keyte family since 1936. It all starts with using the finest raw materials. From the regal heavy-set silk twills to finest Scottish cashmere, we even specially commission high ply count silk thread for our jacquard cloth, as we disagree with using the industry standard of using weighted silk.
Our cloth is printed using traditional hand screen printing methods, along with more modern digital inkjet printing technology. This allows us to offer a wide variation of completely British manufactured products. We are one of the only remaining producers offering true Madder silks; a cloth rich in neckwear folk law.
You will only find the high-quality materials in our workshops, as each accessory – from ties, pocket squares, cravats, scarves & bow ties are made with intention to every detail. This unique level of ownership and control over all aspects of manufacturing continues to define our craftsmanship as it has done for generations.
Robert Keyte Silks was founded in 1999, by Robert Keyte. With over 30 years’ experience at that time in the silk and textile industry, Robert Keyte put his knowledge and expertise into building his own company.
Robert Keyte Silks was established in the picturesque village of Bodiam in East Sussex. With the design studio overlooking the famous castle and the Rother Valley steam railway. This is where all the design and creative development for each season is built.
Robert Keyte Silks joined R A Smarts mill in Bollington, Macclesfield, the traditional home of the English silk industry. Together we create the perfect combination of design, printing, weaving and production. With this partnership, the completely ‘handmade in England’, ethos of the company could be realised.
The mill in Bollington, Macclesfield is the only surviving mill that continues to dye silks using traditional Madder silk techniques, along with hand screen printing, innovative digital printing and 100% pure silk weaving. With techniques continuing to develop and modernise, Robert Keyte Silks continues to advance, as well as endeavouring to keep traditional methods alive.
The Robert Keyte silks portfolio features the Classical English look, such as Macclesfield Neats, Madder prints, along with more contemporary designs recently added to meet changing customer demands.
Today after 20 years, Robert Keyte is proud to continue to create completely handmade accessories, designed in England and ‘Made in England’.
We offer a wide range of products, varying from hand printed silk to hand roll hemmed pocket squares. All our products are lovingly designed
in Bodiam, East Sussex and made in England. We offer handmade ties, pocket squares, scarves, ascots and bow ties across a variety of fabrics. These are all printed or woven in Macclesfield and then beautifully made into finished products. We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality, hand finished products.
We don’t just offer finished goods; we sell cloth by the metre too. Designs are available from our seasonal collections, along with classic designs and bespoke designs.
Robert was introduced to the silk industry by his grandfather, Basil Brown of menswear accessory brand ‘Holliday and Brown’. Robert started an apprenticeship at the renowned silk printers David Evans, in 1969.
Robert was thrown straight into screen printing with his first job printing silk squares for the VC10 for BOAC (which is now known as British Airways). After this, Robert was shown the many departments of the David Evans factory, working in all areas including screen printing, hand- block printing, Impact printing, the wash house and finally the Madder shed. This experience lasted approximately 9 months in total. Continuing his education on silk, Robert was sent to Sudbury in Suffolk to learn about weaving techniques at the silk weaver Vanners.
On his return to David Evans, Robert worked in the Stock and Export department, shipping fabrics. Robert moved forward into the purchasing department, purchasing silk for printing from silk weaving mills in England.
From the early 1980s, Robert moved into sales, tasked with opening up the market in France, Germany and Italy. Later in the 1990s Robert was also responsible for the USA market, this continued until his departure from David Evans, 1998.
After nearly 30 years at David Evans, Robert decided it was time to move on and Robert Keyte Silks was born.