As I pointed out, The Knottery silk knit is very soft in texture — not “crunchy” like you’d find in silk knits from Drake’s or Lands’ End. Of the two J.Press ties I own, the striped one is nearly identical to The Knottery’s. The striped J.Press tie I have actually started to “fuzz” and develop some burrs from my nylon camera strap rubbing over it during a weekend excursion wearing the camera around my neck.
I haven’t had the same thing happen with other silk knits that were crunchy. I believe the crunchy texture comes from a chemical treatment of the silk that hardens it somewhat. While some enjoy that texture, I do find it’s mildly more difficult to get as nice of a knot in comparison to softer silk knits because of the thickness of the fibers. The softer knits also offer a different amount of shiny reflectiveness — in fact, they’re somewhat dull — that I believe looks much more relaxed and casual.
I’ll agree with you that the solid J.Press knits are quite durable, being a bit less soft and delicate. Also, it knots well. However, the weave isn’t as open. For me, it’s more a stylistic choice about what features you’re looking for in a silk knit. I think my solid J.Press goes better with tweeds and flannel. I’d say the softer knits look nicer with cotton and linen casual jackets. Crunchy knits perhaps look best with a traditional navy blazer in worsted wool.
I won’t argue with you that “durability isn’t an issue”, because no one wants something that falls apart. But at the same time, it’s more or less how you treat your clothing and how often you wear it. I have a fairly large rotation of neckties — most of which aren’t even worn once a month now — so I’m probably not going to experience the same issues anytime soon.
Plus, I’d assume that given the way silk knits are constructed and stretch over time, you’ll probably never see the same level of “durability” as a heavy silk twill worn equally as often.