A follow-up to this post.
Knotting a cravat was quite a science: Of all the articles of clothing, the cravat was the only one that owed so little to its manufacturer and so much to its owner. […] Often surpassing the understanding of the master, handling the cravat alwaus surpassed that of the servant. (p. 118)
Debay in Hygiene Vestimentaire says:
Not everyone knows how to tie a knot as artistically as out Messieurs Dandizettes of the boulevards who spend two whole hours fashioning and destroying it. In elegant society, and irreproachavle cravat knot is an essential part of dress. It does not matter whether the knot is “simple,” “compound,” “without ends,” or “with floating tips”: art is always involved. And there are certain apparently “casual” knots that require a long session before the mirror and more than one foot-stamping, more than one exclamation of impatience! A social lion swiftly appraises his rivals’ strengths, weaknesses, and probabilities of succes by their cravats; depending on whether he believes them superior or inferior to himself.” (p. 120)
Different styles in cravat-tying: