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Ferala Team

Last month, we discussed some technical aspects of cotton as well as the origins of the finest cotton fibers. In order to exhaust the subject, let’s have a look at different weavings and their characteristics. That will help you when ordering a made to measure shirt as each structure will work differently and will be suitable for different occasions.

To obtain the fabric, the threads, warp and weft, are weaved together. The weft thread is a thread placed in the direction of the width. Its opposite is the lengthwise warp thread. It is the intersection of these two threads that makes a fabric. The warp is the set of yarns stretched in place on a loom, while weft is drawn through and inserted over and under the warp in different configurations. It’s these configurations that give different structures of the weave, thus the different fabric itself.


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Poplin is a fabric with a plain weave (the warp and weft threads cross at right angles, aligned so they form a simple criss-cross pattern) with a crisp, lustrous surface. Its name comes from the Pope, since this type of cotton was used to create the Pope’s frock in the Middle Age. It’s a very common fabric for your everyday shirts, however it may crease quite fast. Thomas Mason proposes a Poplin book with classic colors going from white and blue till lilac and rose. Those who like patterns can find a proposition of different stripes and checks that will meet their needs.


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Technically made with a basket weave, with the doubling of the weft and warp threads of the same "count" or with doubled warp threads and a smaller count and a larger and softer single weft thread. Its particularity is to have colored warp threads and white weft threads; which accentuates the braiding effect forming a tiny quadrature. Shirts made of this canvas became common among students of the University of Oxford and are considered for more casual and leisure purposes. Thomas Mason brings its Oxfords to a higher level in proposing a distinguished Royal Oxford, ideal for any formal occasion.


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Twill is a fabric woven diagonally (i.e. the weft thread passes under one, then over three other warp threads, shifting one thread on each pass, hence the oblique effect on the right side). It can be used in both business and denim shirts (the final nature of the material depends on the type of cotton and the thickness of the yarn). It is much more resistant to creases and has a more interesting texture than poplin. Twill has always a satin and even a shiny finish on the surface and is less transparent since the weave is tighter than poplin. Thus it is a fabric often used for wedding shirts.


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These three types of weave are the most popular and if you remember their basic characteristics, you will know which one you should choose for which occasion. Each of these weaves has subgroups that create different types of fabrics with their own properties. A complete compendium of various types of shirting fabrics is the Bespoke collection by Thomas Mason that contains 12 books dedicated separately to twill, Oxford, poplin and linen among others. Worth mentioning is the Black & White book containing the best quality Giza and Sea Island cotton in various weavings, ideal for a ceremonial shirt. For casual purposes, the Specials book will propose high quality denims, jerseys and stretch fabrics.



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