The poplin appears in the fifteenth century, in France. Its current name comes from "papeline", in reference to the papal city of Avignon. It was made from silk and wool, and used to cover furniture. The weft, thick, was wool, the silk warp: twice as much silk as wool was used to make this fabric.
This historical originality has been preserved in the current manufacturing process. Today, a thicker weft yarn is associated with fine warp yarns and twice as many. This gives the fabric density and durability. Smooth in appearance, a white poplin shirt can for example be combined with a navy blue worsted suit and a green silk bottle tie for a business setting.
A blue shirt would fit very well with a medium gray suit and a purple tie. In a casual outfit, a poplin shirt can look invaluable. We therefore recommend wearing it with an elegant outfit: merino wool cardigan, chinos and moccasins will be perfect.
NOTE: the thread-to-thread is a poplin whose threads are of alternating colors
Oxford is a widely used shirt fabric and is one of the most versatile. It owes its name to the city of Oxford, England, where it was developed by a Flemish weaver in the seventeenth century. Its armor consists of a doubled warp and a single thread of heavy circumference.
The warp threads are usually colored, while the warp threads are white, which creates a subtle "faux uni" effect. The oxford is characterized by a fresh and brittle hand, a certain rigidity in the fall and a good maintenance (croup little). Thanks to its finely squared appearance, oxford is an excellent balance between texture and refinement. It can be worn in all circumstances.
A formal outfit could therefore combine a pale pink oxford shirt, a medium gray suit and a plain, navy or purple tie. In its casual fit, oxford fits perfectly in a preppy-inspired outfit: button-down blue shirt, cream chinos and white brick-block bucks.
Chambray is a fabric that appeared in Cambrai, France, in the 17th century. It belongs to the family of batistes, a technique of weaving allowing to realize a finer linen fabric developed in the XIIIth century by Baptiste Cambrai.
This fabric was then calendered, that is to say passed between two rollers to give it an icy surface. Later, the chambray was exported, so that its current version comes from the United States and dates from the early nineteenth century.
The chambray is made of an indigo colored warp thread and a white warp thread. It differs from denim because as a canvas armor : it has neither back nor place. Its properties are a great lightness and a soft fall. Rarely used in business outfits because its raw appearance and flexibility give an impression of relaxation.
Nevertheless, know that you can wear it with a beige or light gray suit, and a navy knit tie. In a casual register, the only pitfall to avoid would be to wear a chambray shirt with jeans, their colors close likely to give the impression of a false uni.
It will therefore be more appropriate to combine it with a navy honeycomb cardigan, gray wool trousers and boots, or a brown chino and a pair of sneakers.
Linen fabrics are probably those with the oldest development. It has been grown in Asia for millennia, and was introduced to Europe 2000 years ago. It is a vegetable fiber whose cultivation requires little water. Ancient Egypt was fond of it, but it is in France that flax is today mainly cultivated. The flax yarn is obtained from the maceration of the stems on the floor, to extract the fibers.
These are then raked, spun and woven. Flax is a light material, with a nervous hand.
Excellent thermal regulator, a linen garment is airy but easily marks the folds. Wearing a linen shirt does not mean being scruffy. You must be careful that the weave is sufficiently dense, the cut clean even if it is not adjusted, and that the neck does not collapse.
Few people wear flax in business, but if you choose to do so it is important not to give an impression of vacation : a straight suit with a peak lapel or crusader will bring the outfit in a formal context, a fortiori if you opt for a polka-dot tie for example.
Otherwise, you can opt for a mix cotton/linen, good compromise between holding the fabric and freshness. Relaxed material by essence, a blue or beige linen shirt will go perfectly with raw jeans or white pants, and a pair of brown derbies.
The dobby takes his name from the crafts that serve to weave him. They increase or decrease the number of warp and weft threads during weaving to create fine patterns.
The result is finely textured honeycomb fabrics. The dobby is a silky fabric and distinguished by the refinement of its patterns. The cells present on its surface make it possible to send back the light, which is always interesting visually. A dobby shirt will illuminate and reveal the contrasts of your outfit.
A white shirt can be worn as well in the evening, with a tuxedo and a silk bow tie; at work, with a flannel cross suit and a cashmere tie; or on weekends, with wool pants.
Adopted by senators from the southern states of the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, the seersucker is a fabric with rare thermal properties and a marked visual appearance. By alternating use of yarns with different twists, the seersucker weave alternates smooth and embossed strips.
Only half of the shirt is in contact with your body!
A decidedly summer and casual fabric, the seersucker is often presented with white and blue stripes. With rolled-up sleeves, a seersucker striped shirt is perfect for the weekend.
Preppy look guaranteed.
Twill, or serge, is the characteristic fabric of the twill weaving process. His armor, called "with recess", is a structure made of diagonals at 45°.
There is the same number of warp and weft threads. The chain shifts from one weft thread to each row, which creates the oblique stairway appearance. Twill is a soft and slightly textured fabric. Its maintenance is easy, especially during ironing. The white twill shirt is one of the essentials of the men's wardrobe and will go perfectly with a flannel suit and a silk shantung tie.
This same shirt could also be worn with a large beige woolen cardigan, light gray flannel pants and a pair of weekend boots.
The Herringbone fabrics has a fluctuating history depending on the country that claims it. The Scots assert that his square pattern is inspired by fish bones, and call it besides herringbone; the French gave him the name of the pieces supporting the roofs. Anyway, his twill weave creates characteristic zig-zags.
This weaving effect is (often) reinforced by the use of warp and weft threads of different colors. The herringbone is characterized by the depth it offers to the colors. In use, it is a flexible fabric and easy to iron. A formal outfit might combine a blue shirt, a flannel navy suit and a brown knit tie.
In a more relaxed way, you can wear a herringbone patterned shirt with a simple raw denim and a pair of white sneakers.
The word "flannel" comes from Welsh and means "wool". Originally, any flannel was actually woven into this material, but in recent years we have seen the appearance of cotton flannel or cotton/cashmere with properties adapted to a more urban use. Generally, the wool flannel is constructed on a plain weave base with carded (uncombed, raw) yarns to give it a fluffy, heavy draped look.
Conversely, cotton flannel is usually a serge. The threads are combed and sometimes scraped to enhance the softness of the fabric. Heavy, flannels have a very nice fall and tend to drape what flatters the silhouette. A flannel shirt should be associated with "warm" materials in a formal context, such as cashmere, knitted silk, or ... flannel!
The word "denim" is a contraction of the name "canvas serged Nîmes", historically manufactured in the south of France by the André family. This fabric is originally a mixture of wool and silk. The blue color of the warp came from a dye called "Genoa blue", hence the name of blue jeans. The pigment of this natural dye was obtained thanks to the indigotier. Originally, jeans and denim are different!
The jean is a serge whose warp and weft threads are the same color, while the denim is a serge made of indigo warp threads and unbleached threads. It is this combination that explains the wash of the denim fabric.
Both fabrics were used for workwear, with jeans being the most common fabric used by blue collar workers, while denim was reserved for trades where knee rubbing was important, such as miners or the mechanics. But in the middle of the 20th century, the emergence of more specialized technical fabrics made this specificity disappear. Jeans have become denim trousers, and denim also includes jeans under his name.
Over time, spinning mills like Albiate specialized in the work of casual fabrics including denim by adopting a high-end approach (high titration, double twists, rare dyes, work on washing, development of special finishes, etc.)
Denim knows today very refined declensions.
A denim shirt will be easily worn with textured materials. In a formal setting, this shirt must have a smooth appearance and have a fine fabric, otherwise it will look too casual. You can then combine it with flannel and a silk knit tie.
A casual outfit would be for example a honeycomb cardigan with a beige chino and sneakers, or white pants and moccasins in a more sprezzatura style.
We have covered about ten major shirt fabrics, and the list is not exhaustive!
The fabric is the most visible part of your shirt and deserves a really special attention. Faced with so much diversity, we have endeavored to present you the possibilities of use of each of the fabrics according to the context of wearing.
Now it's up to you to choose the fabric that best suits your needs and to play on the contrasts of material to enrich your outfits!