What’s are the differences in fabric for dress shirts?

Shopping for a dress or buttoned down shirt that can be embroidered with your logo can be a daunting task.  There is so much to consider.  There are colors, feature like easy care, wrinkle resistant, stain resistant, collar types, etc. would make anyone confused.  But then there is the fabric to consider.

The fabric discussion alone is enough to put most people in a tailspin.  The fabric you choose can make the difference between a good shirt choice and a not so good shirt choice.  So that’s why we put together this easy to understand information on fabric types.

It should help you choose the right fabric for your logo embroidered shirt.



Broadcloth: very similar to poplin–is a tightly woven fabric with a very simple over-under weave and slight sheen, which makes it very dressy. Broadcloths are great for guys looking for as little texture as possible. They are generally a thinner, lighter fabric. (608)



Chambray: Chambray is a plain weave fabric.  That means it has a similar construction to broadcloth, though it is generally made with heavier yarns for a rugged, blue-collar workwear appeal. Generally there will be white threads running in the weft/width direction such that the fabric has an inconsistent color to it.  A chambray is generally heavier and more appropriate for casual wear than dress.



Denim: We all know denim as the fabric of our jeans.  But construction wise, denim is a twill fabric.  A sturdy, possibly coarser twill.  For the most part thought, you’re mostly going to find much softer, lighter versions of the fabric then what your jeans are made of.   (SP10)



Dobby:  Dobby (which is very similar to Jacquard, although technically different) can vary widely. Some versions are quite similar to broadcloth in terms of thickness and weight, while others can be thicker or woven to almost look like twill. Many dobby fabrics have stripes woven into them, although some are solid colors. The solid colors tend to have a faint stripe or dotted patterns woven in the same color as the base cloth.

End-on-End:  End-on-end broadcloths are a very popular type of dress shirt fabric with a distinct contrast coloring. Woven with colored thread in the warp and white thread in the weft, it looks like a true solid from a distance, but has more texture when seen from up close. Typically a lighter weight fabric, it’s a great choice for those living in warmer climates.



Oxford:  Oxford is very similar to pinpoint oxford, except it uses a slightly heavier thread and looser weave. It has a slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics. A symmetrical basket weave where one yarn may cross two yarns. Oxford cloth has recently become quite popular used in casual button down oxford shirts. (8970)


Pinpoint Oxford

Pinpoint Oxford: Pinpoint (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has the same weave as oxford cloth, although it uses a finer yarn and tighter weave. It is more formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than broadcloth. Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and thicker than broadcloths. Because of their heavier construction, pinpoints are fairly durable fabrics. A great choice for business shirts. (RH24)



Nailhead Woven: Consists of a solid background and color with little pinheads’ (or small nailheads) of fabric spaced at regular (and very small) intervals. The effect of this pattern is that the background color tends to overshadow the nailhead pattern.  (RH37)


Royal Oxford

Royal Oxford:  Royal Oxford is what we call a “pretty fabric”. Although the name is similar, it is not at all similar to pinpoint oxford or oxford cloth. It is a dressy fabric with a distinctive shine and texture. With a more prominent weave than broadcloth or pinpoint, it’s ideal for those interested in a dress or formal shirt with visible texture. (MCW09316)



Twill: Definitely one of our favorites, twill could be the perfect dress shirt fabric. Twill is easily recognizable because it will show diagonal lines or texture. It is generally slightly shiny. Because of the diagonal texture twill is a bit softer than broadcloth and will drape more easily. Twill won’t give you the same “crisp” look that freshly pressed broadcloth can, but it’s relatively easy to iron and resistant to wrinkles.

Poplin: Poplin is so similar to Broadcloth that we decided not to distinguish between the two in our fabric descriptions.  For all practical purposes you can equate the two.  They are both a plain weave fabric that is going to be quite thin, smooth and flat.  The amount of shine on a poplin can vary from fabric to fabric.  That said, technically Poplin is different than Broadcloth in that Poplins can have different weight yarns in the warp and weft while broadcloths will have a symmetrical construction.

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