We have listed here the most favourite fabrics used to make the best of shirts and their properties – read on if you are looking for high quality and fine shirt fabric.
The most important things to consider, other than the general properties and qualities of the fabric that points to the use of the best yarns, are thread count and ply and use of the best weaving processes.
You will hear thread count mentioned as numbers starting from 50 to even 1000s. Higher the thread count the softer, smoother and silkier the fabric and of course more expensive.
Regarding ply construction, there will be single ply fabrics and two-ply fabrics. The two-ply fabrics have two yarns spun into one to prevent wear and tear problems like pilling. Fabrics with more than 100 thread counts will usually have a two-ply construction with two yarns twisted together, which makes for a durable fabric.
1. Fine cotton
If you can afford a high quality cotton like Pima, Swiss or Egyptian cotton of two ply cottons with a high thread count of at least 160 to 220 you do not need to read any further. Go and buy that because shirts made with these fabrics will stand all tests of time and wear and make you look elegant and dapper throughout.
Cotton fabrics like Egyptian, Sea Island, or American Pima cotton – these are the best and most desirable fabric for making shirts. They are very expensive as well. But there is a reason for that.
These cotton fabric are all made from the fibers of the same plant with a cotton termed as extra long staple length which means they can be made into fine and strong yarns with which these fabrics are made of. They are the softest with very high thread count and has a two-ply construction.
Out of these, Egyptian cotton is the finest. American Pima comes second. In Egyptian cotton, Giza 45 is the best but if you want to buy shirts made of this fabric, you will pay through your nose because it is used to make the most exclusive dress shirts in the world and you know how much the “exclusive” label costs
Pima cotton broadcloth is a high quality but inexpensive fabric with soft and smooth finish – it is a very popularly used cotton fabric for shirts. This fabric has a very fine, horizontal ribbed texture which is very attractive
Poplin, the most popular shirt fabric, is a plain weave fabric which is smooth, cool and breathable with a crisp feel. A good quality poplin is a superfine tightly woven, high-quality fabric. It is an overall favourite for making dress shirts. The fabric is soft and very smooth to the touch.
One disadvantage we can see with poplin as a shirt fabric is that if you want a completely opaque fabric this is not for you – it is thin and ever so slightly transparent. But this makes it lightweight which is an advantage.
But then there is another disadvantage related to its thinness – it wrinkles. But when it is freshly pressed it is as crisp and elegant as you want a dress shirt to be. So considering all the great points it has, poplin is great for making shirts you can wear anytime anywhere, especially formal shirts
End on end poplin is a dress shirt fabric with a subtle texture because of the way it is woven – weft thread is one color and the warp thread is another color. Usually, a colored thread in the warp and white thread in the weft is used for a more traditional effect. It looks like a solid from a distance but has a slight pattern to it. This is chosen over solid poplin because of this added dimension.
Nothing is more elegant than clothes made of linen and it gets better with age and washings. It is more loosely woven and sheer than cotton and the most suitable fabric for wearing in hot summer climates
But it wrinkles a lot and is not the most drapey, you must know it is slightly crisp – which of course adds to its look of elegance. But if you do not mind the disadvantage and you want a fabric that is natural and that breathes, nothing like linen. It is classy.
We have been talking about 100% linen fabric – but if you take blended linen like a bamboo-linen blend, some of the problems of the linen has been taken care of ; it will wrinkle less and will be more drapey. Same is the case with a cotton/linen blend.
Flannel is a favourite thick weave heavy weight fabric for making winter wear shirts. It can be 100% cotton or a blend of cotton/wool or cotton/cashmere . It is warm and has a soft fuzzy feel.
Flannel is also called Brushed cotton when it has been brushed to remove its lint and fibres. It is very soft to the touch. The best quality of this shirting material is that it is very suitable for winter wear – as it has insulating quality.
Twill is a fabric weave and the many fabrics which are made in this weave like Herringbone and Denim and Houndstooth and Cavalry are all very popular for making shirts. Twill weave makes the fabrics very soft to the touch but it is heavier than cotton, silk or poplin. It is a very durable and strong fabric but at the same time it hangs well on the body
Get a tightly woven twill fabric and it will be very soft. Cavalry twills have very obvious weave pattern. You may want a more subtle twill weave; But in fact the diagonal weave of twill is very attractive, so you may not mind it. Good quality Twill is slightly shiny (again because of the weave), easy to iron and is resistant to wrinkles.
Chino is a twill fabric which is light weight ; Houndstooth is a twill fabric with a check pattern ( with a houndstooth – dog’s tooth shape) usually in black and white. A herringbone twill fabric has diagonal stripes in a zigzag pattern – like the bones of a herring fish.
You will have a choice of selecting formal twill fabric and casual twill fabrics, make your selection according to your need. Most of the twill fabrics are hard wearing and durable but denim is my absolute favourite – best for all season wear. It is fashionable every year.Look out for thinner, lighter denim ( not the denim used for making jeans) – you can ask for shirt weight denim.
Looking for the best fashion designer in Nigeria that will make use of one of these fabrics mentioned above to sew your shirt? Dmwardrobe is the best fashion designer in Lagos, Nigeria that make use of all the above fabrics to sew shirts for their customers. Get in touch with Dmwardrobe for the best deal on shirts.
DM Wardrobe Clothing is a Lagos based fashion house that specializes in menswear, ready-to-wear clothing and runs a production line. DM wardrobe was born out of the desire to own high quality and durable clothing that fit at an affordable price.