They may appear as innocuous pieces of colorful silk cloth fashioned around collars. But in men’s neckwear, what you see is not always what you get. Look more closely and you’ll find that over the years tie makers have transformed the centuries-old craft. Some have introduced unconventional fabrics, including silk seersucker, cashmere knits, cotton madras plaids, and even home-drapery cloths. Others have toyed with shapes — wider blades and a new rounded “soft point” tip — to further multiply a man’s options. In addition, designers are bringing back the 7-fold tie — as well as debuting new 9- and even 11-fold constructions — as the new standard of luxury.