A guide to shirt fabrics

Recognizing shirt fabrics is the first step in buying the right shirt for you. The factors to be considered, in addition to the properties of the fabric, certainly include the type of weave - that is, the way weft and warp threads are intertwined. This aspect is especially important because it determines the softness and smooth, silky appearance of the shirt. Here then, is a complete guide through the maze of fabrics to learn how to select the right one for every occasion:

Fabrics such as Egyptian, Sea Island or American Pima cotton are renowned for being the best for making shirts. Among these, Egyptian cotton is the most highly prized, especially Giza 45, the most exclusive type in the world, while American Pima comes second in the ranking for quality .


Poplin, the most popular shirt fabric, is a plain weave material with a smooth, fresh and breathable feel. A good quality poplin is super fine, but tightly woven with a translucent finish, which makes it breathable, but not ideal if you prefer a matte finish. Considering the pros and cons, this material is great for making shirts that can be worn anytime, anywhere, especially for formal occasions given its characteristic woven texture.


Twill weave makes fabrics very soft to the touch but heavier than cotton, silk or poplin. A hard wearing material that at the same time follows and adapts to the lines of the body. Good quality twill is slightly shiny, making it wrinkle resistant and easy to iron. Chino is a light twill fabric; herringbone twill has diagonal zigzag stripes. Among the most versatile, this fabric truly suits all tastes and budgets.


Nothing is more elegant than linen apparel, which moreover improves with the passage of time and washing. With a looser weave and more transparent than cotton, linen is the most suitable fabric to wear in the summer, but unfortunately it tends to wrinkle a lot and is not among the best for draping. But if you don't mind this typical feature of linen and you want a fabric that is natural and breathable, there is nothing better than linen. A solution to limit creasing – blends with bamboo and cotton.


Flannel is a heavy, insulating fabric with a thick weave, therefore ideal for winter, also because it can be 100% cotton or a cotton / wool or cotton / cashmere blend. Warm with a soft touch, flannel is also called brushed cotton as it is treated to remove lint.

Oxford and Pinpoint Fabric

Both are fabrics that appear slightly rough to the touch, medium weight, hard wearing and warm, but at the same time breathable. Oxford and Pinpoint have the same symmetrical weave, but there are subtle differences between the two: the former has a finer and tighter weave, while the latter is more draped.