Which cotton is right for your dress shirt?
Is there such thing as the perfect shirt? We do believe so. When you combine top quality fabrics with superior craftsmanship along with stylish design and proper fit you have the perfect shirt.
Obviously opinions might differ, but we can all agree that the fabrics are a vital component in the creation of the perfect dress shirt and therefore I’d like to explain a little about them.
Typically, the best fabric for a dress shirt is cotton. Good cotton is breathable, is soft and feels good at touch. The quality of the cotton is determined by the weave (the way the warp and weft are put together – see picture below). This important detail along with the thickness of the fiber, defines the type of cotton.
Occasionally, climate and personal preferences will influence your final choice but here’s a quick guide to learn more about the most popular fabric constructions.
POPELINE (or Poplin)
The name derives from Papelino, a fabric made specifically for the Pope in the 15th century.
This is a strong weave and depending on the fiber of the cotton used, could be the right choice for many occasions. Also, shirts made from this material are easy to iron, do not wrinkle easily and have a smooth-silky feel.
- For everyday business looks
- For ceremonies
Oxford is a classic and casual fabric. It is soft, relaxed and durable. Oxford is woven from a heavier yarn than is used in a poplin giving it a soft yet strong fabric which is extremely hard wearing.
The weave is a basket weave, a strong structure that gives a lustrous aspect. Varieties in the cloth are the plain Oxford, the Pinpoint Oxford and the more formal Royal Oxford. While these first two are more often paired with casual shirt designs like a button-down collar, the third type is a more versatile weave that can be paired with either business or sporty dress codes.
- For everyday business looks
Twill weave is one of the main elementary weaves (along with plain, sateen and satin). Characteristically, it produces diagonal lines on the face of the fabric. The weft thread is passed over one or more warp threads and then under two or more warp threads and so on.
Because of the diagonal texture, twill is really soft and will drape more easily than other fabrics.
- For business travels
Pique’s weave features cotton yarn characterized by raised parallel cords or fine ribbing. This gives the material a subtle pattern and texture – which can only be seen up close. Textures and patterns vary across pique shirting too. You’ll find some with a cord structure, others with waffle or honeymoon (honeymoon?) structures, and even birds eye piques. These textures are created using a slightly different manufacturing process to add depth to the original pique design.
Pique is used in sportswear and formal cotton shirt fabrics, demonstrating its versatility. It is commonly used for polo shirts – worn for fashion purposes or in golfing – as well as white tie events.
- Some types of piquet are good for business shirts too
At Massimo Roma we want nothing but the best for our clients and therefore, when it comes to shirting, we have chosen to exclusively use Canclini as our supplier. Canclini – founded in 1925 – has been a worldwide leader in the industry for many decades and needs very little introduction. Their wide variety of fabric choices help us to build the perfect shirt for every occasion.
Book an appointment and let us help you build the perfect wardrobe. Call now: (305) 998-0409 or book online.
Master Custom Clothier at Massimo Roma