Men’s Basic Guide to Shirt Fabrics

Shirt fabrics for tailoring come in a variety of colors and textures. The most popular shirt fabric is cotton and fabrics are mostly named according to its weave method. The numbers with the fabrics refer to the yarn’s thickness. The higher the number corresponds to a thinner yarn. These fabrics are made from finer yarns that make it more expensive.

Coarser in texture than most fabrics yet softer at the same time, the Oxford fabric is considered a casual cloth used in button down collars. For the colored and patterned Oxford shirts, the threads in a single direction are the ones dyed, the rest are simply white in color. This makes a textured look on the fabric. The pinpoint oxford is woven the same manner yet made of thinner yarn which makes it smoother and ideal for formal wear.

The Royal Oxford and Poplin are also made of fine and smooth yarns. While Royal Oxford is ideal for formal wear, Poplin works best for casual shirts. Poplin can easily come in a variety of colors and patterns.

The diagonal weaving of cotton twill gives the shirts a very rich texture yet still keeps its formality. For the herringbone twill, the diagonal direction wavers thus providing the cloth more depth. If you ever need a solid shirt for a certain occasion, you can rely on twill to play the part exceptionally well. A finer cloth called broadcloth is woven so close together that the cloth shines. This is considered the most formal fabric for everyday wear shirts.

Yarns of interweaving alternating colors are what end-on-end broadcloths are made of. Its texture looks solid from afar yet the tightness of the weave enables the cloth to showcase excellent patterns.

Piqué cottons in white are what formal shirts are made of, giving it a richer texture and only appropriate for black or white tie events.

The fabrics mentioned in this section, except for pure cotton, can be blended cotton/polyester.  They are considerably cheaper but even if they do not look luxurious or as smooth as the other finer yarns, they are considered non-iron cloths. 100% cotton shirts that do not require ironing provide a richer more natural look with the convenience of synthetic fabrics. However, quality ones are steeply priced and the more affordable ones tend to irritate sensitive skins, especially when exposed to extreme heat, synthetics tend to be itchy.