If you are in the business of selling shirts, you know that a shirt is only as good as it feels. That’s why choosing the proper shirt fabric is so important. After all, a shirt that is uncomfortable to wear is going to make the person that dons it feel fairly miserable. And if a customer is not happy, they will most likely not patronize your business. As such, it is important that you not only get a bead on what fabrics are used by shirt suppliers, but you use that information to determine what fabrics may be right for your clientele.
Fabrics at a Glance
Diving into the world of fabrics to see what may work best for you and your business is not as easy as it may look. It is a world that goes well beyond the realm of cotton, denim, polyester, and the other fabrics that your average person knows about. To be sure, shirt suppliers have a host of materials at their disposal, including several that don’t readily come to mind. However, getting to know as much information as possible about as many fabrics as you can is crucial to your business’ success, since clothing stores rarely live on denim or cotton alone.
Some of these fabrics include:
• Broadcloth – This is a tightly woven fabric that is marked by a simple over-under weave as well as a slight shininess. These qualities combine to make a very dressy shirt. The fabric also tends to be thinner and lighter, which makes it an ideal fabric for summertime. White broadcloth fabrics have been shown to be a little transparent, which makes wearing an undershirt in conjunction with shirts made from such cloth to be pretty essential.
• Flannel – This seasonal fabric was highly trendy during the grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and has been shown to be making a comeback in some fashion circles. The fabric’s calling card is its thickness, as they are typically made in thicker weaves, thus making them ideal for the chillier weather in the fall and winter.
• Melange – This particular fabric is known for being very thin yet very soft, smooth, and luxurious. They achieve this reputation because of a special type of construction; one where each of the yarns that are used in the fabric is a combination of fibers which are not-dyed and dyed. These colored fibers are then woven together to create a look that looks slightly yet deliberately inconsistent, which in turn gives the fabric a completely organic quality.
• Oxford Cloth – This casual fabric is made with a symmetrical basket weave that is looser in comparison to some other weaves. It is not to be confused with the more formal Pinpoint Oxford, which can feature a tighter weave and a lighter thread. The heavy, rougher texture and durable nature of the threads themselves has made this particular fabric popular for sports use.
• Egyptian Cotton – Simply stated, this fabric is made from a particular type of cotton that is culled from the plant known as Gossypium Barbadense. This particular cotton can differentiate itself from other cottons because it contains longer staples, which in turn can enable it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. It typically features thread counts of anywhere between 80 and 100; this thread count allows it to differentiate itself from another fabric known as sea island, which is made from the same cotton plant but has a higher thread count.
• Royal Oxford – As the name implies, this particular fabric is one of the dressier fabrics that shirt suppliers will feature. The reason it has the reputation as being dressy is due to its sheen and texture, as both of those particular aspects are highly visible in nature. This particular fabric should not be confused with oxford cloth or pinpoint oxford; despite the similar names, they are completely different.
• Twill – This fabric is marked by its distinctive diagonal lines or texture; this shape allows the fabric itself to exhibit a shiny quality. It is weaved extremely tight, and can therefore come in extremely high thread counts – so much so, the fabric can sometimes be mistaken for silk. Another important quality to note about twill is that it is relatively easy to iron and has a tendency to be resistant to wrinkles.
• Dobby – The thickness and weight of this fabric can be very similar to broadcloth, and its thickness or the way that it is weaved can almost make it appear as if it is twill. This fabric falls somewhere in between the two fields. This particular fabric tends to feature stripes, although it can be a solid color.
Other Things to Note About Fabric
Once you have gotten a basic grasp on the various types of fabrics that exist out on the market, there are still a couple of items that you need to be aware of before contacting the right shirt suppliers.
The first of these terms is thread count. Specifically, this term defines the thickness of the size of the yarn that is being used to make the shirt. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the thread count number, the higher quality the fabric – and ultimately the shirt – will be.
The second of these terms is ply. In essence, ply is defined by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread. The typical shirt will be designed to be either single ply, meaning that one thread was woven into the fabric, or two ply, meaning that two yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread which is then woven into the fabric.
Getting familiar with these terms as well as the fabrics that are talked about in conjunction with these terms is essential if you want to maximize the overall quality of the clothing that you want to sell. If you don’t, you greatly increase the risk of obtaining a vastly inferior product, which could ultimately have a negative impact on your business and your bottom line.