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Popular Weaves for Men’s Shirting

Posted on 05 December 2022

In this blog we’re going to discuss a few of the most popular types of woven fabric used in mens shirting. We will look at the physical construction of each weave, it’s strengths and weakness, and it’s common uses. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Herringbone is a twill that is mirrored when woven to create a chevron, “V-shaped” look. The fabrics name comes from its resemblance to the bones of a herring fish. Similar patterns in tile and brick have made this centuries old style a classic. This weave enjoys all the benefits of the twill weave, so herringbone fabrics drape well and are easy to iron. Herringbone has a smooth feel, a textured warmth, and a slight sheen. The added patterning makes this a great crossover fabric, solving both dress and casual shirt needs. We suggest Herringbone shirts for: business dress occasions, and casual occasions when you want to add detail to your look.

Poplin, also known as broadcloth, is probably what you would think of as “standard” shirt fabric and has a classic crisp characteristic. Poplin is woven with a simple over and under weave. This weave creates a substantial fabric that is soft but also cool and breathable. Poplin is also a strong, very smooth and durable fabric that has an almost silky hand feel. A poplin shirt generally feels the smoothest out of all weaves thanks to their lack of texture, but can also be the most prone to wrinkling. We suggest poplin shirts for: formal occasions, for everyday business looks, and for ceremonies.

Dobby, is a woven fabric produced on the dobby loom, characterised by small geometric patterns and extra texture in the cloth. The warp and weft threads may be the same colour or different. Satin threads are particularly effective in this kind of weave as their shiny texture will highlight the pattern. Dobby weaves have a small, geometric, textured appearance formed by repeated woven-in designs, such as bird's-eye piqué. They are usually lightweight and open, giving a lacelike appearance. Luxurious and smooth to the touch, dobby weave fabric is best used for formal or business shirts.

Oxford is a basket weave where multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. Often, one color of weft is crossed with a white warp thread resulting in a two-tone color appearance. The two-by-two weave creates a slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics. This texture makes the fabric thicker and warm, perfect to wear on cool days. The oxford weave is popular in casual shirts, particularly with a button-down collar, although Oxford shirts can certainly be worn to the office if the cut and finish are professional enough. Overall, a tailored oxford shirt is a wardrobe essential for its durability and versatility. We suggest Oxford shirts for: family gatherings, casual days at the office.

Chambray is a workwear poplin or broadcloth. It is a plain weave fabric made with heavier thread for a more relaxed or workwear appeal. Chambray fabric is woven with a colored yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft. It's a great alternative to shirt weight denim that has the same color variation. Because a chambray shirt has a basic weave it is able to be woven finer than that of denim which has a more complex twill weave. We suggest a chambray shirt for: summer/fall workwear.

A houndstooth refers to a design created in a woven cloth through a color and weave effect. Traditionally, the warp layout is designed with alternating bands of four dark threads followed by four white threads. Similarly, the weft is woven with four dark threads followed by four light threads. In this structure, the weft goes over two threads and then under two threads. (This is the same structure as a pair of jeans.) The resulting fabric created when this structure combines with this color layout is a two-tone broken check shape, named a houndstooth for its resemblance to jagged teeth. Houndstooth weave is opulent and rich looking, it makes an ideal fabric for men's formal shirts, formal jackets or blazers, and even coats.

Twill is a type of textile weave that is created with diagonal parallel ribs. This diagonal structure creates a durable and attractive fabric that has countless applications. Much of our heavy duty work-wear is a twill weave. Denim and Khaki pants are twill weaves. Unlike other plain weaves, twill weaves have a front side (called technical face) and a back side (called technical back). Another advantage of twill is the diagonal pattern shows less dirt and soil than a plain weave. Twill performs better than other weaves when dealing with water-resistance, durability, and recovery from wrinkles. Twill fabric is softer and thicker than poplin, and is also resistant to creases and easy to iron. It drapes very well, creating a great shirt fabric. The trade-off is that a twill shirt doesn’t have as crisp a look and as cool a feel against the skin that poplin creates. We suggest a twill shirt for: great everyday shirts from business to travel.

If any of the above have caught your attention, simply type the name of the weave into the search bar and you will be able to see a selection of Stiff Collar products available in your chosen construction!

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