Fabrics guide

All of our custom shirts are made to measure from the most select fabrics available. Our leading fabrics have been sourced from the premier European weavers, and our lightweight cotton fabrics have been produced in the world's most avant-garde mills in Switzerland, France and Italy.

By taking a quick look at the following information, you'll much better understand the different kind of materials available.

First of all, fabrics are produced by interweaving a weft yarn with a warp yarn (the yarn/thread that runs the length of the loom).

What is the difference between one-ply and two-ply

and why is it important?

One ply:

One ply yarn (thread) comprises of simply one strand, and is more affordable than high-quality two-ply yarn.

Two ply:

Two ply is made up of 2 strands wound around one another, and when both strands are very fine, thinly spun strands, the finished 2-ply yarn, can be as thin as a lower-grade 1-ply yarn. The finished garment is much more comfortable and durable, when made with 2-ply yarn.

Two-ply yarn resists the normal tendency of yarn to pill or shed, so is much more durable than single-ply yarn. Many merchants attempt to sell lower grade fabrics, such as single-ply in one direction and two-ply in the other: also known as 2x1. You can rest-assured that we only sell fabrics made from high-grade 2x2 ply yarns.

Yarn Number

This number varies from 20 to 200, with higher numbers representing finer, thinner yarn/thread. To spin threads of the finest fibre, extremely advanced technology is required, and it is not possible to rush the process. There are very few mills in the world capable of producing these high-grade yarns, and almost all are located in Switzerland, Italy or France. There is only one mill in the entire united states, capable of producing a yarn with a 200 grade rating.

When choosing a fabric, you simply need to know that the higher the yarn number, the finer/thinner the thread is, and therefore the more tightly woven and uniform the finished fabric is.

(The number is derived from an old english measurment system. A yarn count of 200, essentially means that for any given weight, eg 1 kg, a thread with a yarn count of 200, would stretch to twice the distance of a thread with a yarn count of 100 - so it would be twice as fine or thin.)

Poplin and Broadcloth
This traditional one-under, one-over, tightly-woven fabric has a fine hand (feels smooth to the touch) and is ideal for dress shirts.

Historically, the main difference between poplin and broadcloth, was that the Poplin used a thicker weft yarn. However, nowadays the words are essentially used interchangeably. A broadcloth shirt remains the defacto standard for a dress-shirt, and is a very durable fabric, due to its tightly woven matrix.

Twill has a distinctive diagonal pattern. This is achieved by passing the weft yarn, underneath 2 warp yarns, and stepping each successive thread forward by one. It results in a shimmery weave, that is one of the most durable of all, and resistant to staining. The weave is very soft, and easy to iron.

This is a twill fabric, where the direction of the weave is reversed periodically, giving the material its distinctive chevron shape. It has similar properties to twill, including durability and shine, and the weave adds depth and character to a shirt, without sacrificing formality, when required.

End of End/Chambray
This fabric comprises of two different colour thread being interwoven in the warp and weft, in a traditional broadcloth/chess-board type weave.. Being comprised of two different colored threads, the fabric has great character. The differently coloured threads add a unique visual texture to the cloth, that appears solid in colour from just a few steps.

Oxford is a weaving type, that is essentially the same as basket-weave. The warp thread passes over 2 warp threads, then under one, and repeats (over 2, under 1). The result is a slightly thicker cloth, with more texture than broadcloth. It is suitable for both formal and casual wear, though the thicker weave results in more air being trapped in the weave, and therefore increases the insulation properties of the fabric: so broadcloth is preferential during summer-time.

In many oxford weaves, the weft thread is undyed, creating an end-on-end colour texture throughout the weaving.

Royal Oxford uses finer threads than traditional oxford, resulting in a finer, less-textured cloth, that can be worn on even the most formal of occasions.

Pinpoint Oxford is similarly woven to classic oxford, but is woven from a finer yarn, resulting in a smoother and more formal cloth. As mentioned above, Royal Oxford is finer again, and perfect for both formal and informal occasions.

Pinpoint and oxford tend to be less durable than the tightly-woven broadcloth and poplin-fabrics, as the basket-weave means that threads float over 2 threads at a time, leading to an increased risk of snagging in sharp objects.

Voile is one of the lightest and most breathable fabrics available. Voile is woven as a plain weave, like broadcloth. The difference and unique characteristic, is that the yarns are very tightly twisted, which results in further distance between adjacent yarns, resulting in a very fine, thin and light fabric, that can be semi-transparent in some cases. It is one of the preferred material during hot summer months. Zendaline is a similar fabric, that uses voile yarns in the weft (cross-wise), and broadcloth yarns in the warp (length-wise). The result is a fabric that exhibits the best characteristics of both fabrics, and is one of the most comfortable fabrics for warmer climates.

Is a very finely woven fabric - perfect for warmer climates, or for people susceptible to increased sweating.

Types of fabrics: Cotton, Linen

How does 100% Cotton compare to Poly-cotton Blends

There are advantages to both materials, and it is often a good choice to have a selection of shirts in both pure cotton, and poly-cotton (mixture of polyester and cotton).

      Advantages of 100% pure cotton

  • Highly breathable
  • Highly absorbent (wicks sweat from the skin
  • Attractive texture, when ironed

     Disadvantages of 100% pure cotton

  • Some weaves are more prone to wrinkling, requiring increased care
  • Can be more expensive than poly blends
  • Susceptible to mildew and bleach damage

     Advantages of Poly cotton blends

  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Less expensive
  • Warmer than a 100% pure cotton shirt

     Disadvantages of Poly cotton blends

  • Less breathable
  • Less comfortable in a warm climate/office
  • More susceptible to damage from an overly hot iron
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