Fabric Selectionall about fabrics?
Twill shirt fabric will's diagonal parallel ribs make it one of the easiest weaves to recognize. These diagonal lines - also known as wales - are created during the weaving process. The horizontal weft yarn crosses over two vertical warp yarns and then under one. This is repeated over and over and thus the diagonal lines are created. If the Wales run to the right, this is referred to as the Z direction, or if they run to the left, it’s called the S direction.
Herringbone, an ancient European twill weave, was present as early as 600BC and used by the Celtic people in what are now Austria and Ireland. It is characterized by a distinctive V shaped wale. It’s zigzagging wale gives the fabric the appearance of a fish skeleton - hence the name Herring (the fish) Bone.
Poplin & Broadcloth
Poplin is a plain weave that emphasizes more tightly packed warp yarn, often double that of the weft yarn. Fabrics that are considered “plain weaves” are usually constructed with equal size warp and weft thread, so, the yarns from the side and from the top are equal in size. That is why poplins usually weigh 110-140 gram per square meter of fabric. The main difference between broadcloth and poplin is historic. Broadcloth was invented in England a few centuries before the French invented poplin. Essentially it is the same one over, one under weave. Broadcloth tends to be slightly heavier, 120-160 grams per square meter, but this difference is really semantic.
Oxford fabric was originally created as one of four innovative fabrics named after famous universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Yale & Harvard – in a Scottish fabric mill in the 19th century. Unfortunately for the other three only the Oxford pattern stood the test of time. Oxford is a type of fabric called a basket weave. The heavier warp thread passes over 2 finer warp threads and then under one. This two over, one under pattern repeats itself and results in slightly thicker (usually 160-210 grams per square meter) cloth with an obvious texture. In many oxford weaves, the weft thread is un-dyed, creating an end-on-end color texture throughout the weave.
Pinpoint Oxford is a step above typical Oxford cloth as it is is woven from finer and lighter threads. It is a smoother, more formal cloth that is still good for everyday, but for someone who’s looking for a bit more polish. When wearing Oxford cloth – particularly the finer ones – it’s important to be careful around sharp edges as basket weaves tend to snag and tear easily.
Royal Oxford is the most refined of the Oxford weaves. It uses extremely fine threads of a lighter weight – such as fine Egyptian cotton with a staple length of 140 or above. As a result, it is lighter and finer to the touch than Oxford and Pinpoint Oxford fabric. The finer thread also lends the texture an extremely smooth hand feel. Royal Oxford is best worn for dressy occasions.
Flannel is a twill weave made from loosely spun yarn, which leaves large amounts of air trapped in them. That provides the insulation properties for which flannel is so famous. It’s also why they feel fuzzy and are used traditionally for winter fabrics. When woven for summer, they have less air in the weave and therefore retain less heat.