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A Guide to Men's Dress Shirt Weaves

A guide to Men's Dress Shirt Weaves
Illustration of a dress shirt weave

The weave is the way in which the threads of cotton (called warp and weft) are actually put together to make a fabric. Different techniques create different properties in the fabric. We use a variety of weaves in our shirts to deliver durability and comfort.

A Guide to Men's Dress Shirt Weaves

Poplin, sometimes called broadcloth, is a plain weave which means the threads alternately cross over and then under each other. This results in a very smooth and durable fabric that has an almost silky hand feel, particularly with higher thread counts. Also, poplins look very crisp when ironed.

See more poplin weaves


Twill fabrics have a weft thread that runs over and under multiple warp threads (as opposed to a plain weave where the weft crosses a single warp thread at a time). This can create interesting patterns like a herringbone, houndstooth or a simple, diagonal rib. Twills are very durable fabrics that have a softer hand feel than poplins and a bit more sheen.

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The traditional oxford is a type of basket weave where multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. The threads are usually of a single color crossed with a white to give oxford its unique, checkerboard appearance. It's a versatile fabric that can be worn casually or professionally depending on the thread count and finish.

See more oxford weaves


The dobby weave is considered a "fancy" weave because dobby weaves generally have unique geometric patterns in the fabric. This is accomplished using a special loom that raises and lowers the warp threads individually, allowing the weaver to create the dobby weave's distinctive patterns. Dobby fabrics can come in all kinds of patterns, colors, weights and hand feels.

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End on End

End-on-end fabrics are essentially poplins but with one colored and one white (or other color) thread. This gives the fabric a heathered appearance up close but looks like a solid color from a distance. End-on-ends are sometimes called fil-a-fil from the French for "thread-to-thread" or Chambray.

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Herringbone weaves are most often found in wool fabrics and suiting, but it is also found in dress shirting as well. Herringbone weave is a type of twill, and has a distinctive v shaped pattern, named after the herring fish. Herringbone weaves tend to be slightly heavier in weight, and are more often found in seasonal shirting fabrics for cold weather.

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Print (Hand Blocked)

While yarn-dyed fabrics are the most common sort of weave for dress shirting, prints are becoming more and more popular. Print fabrics are as they might sound - the pattern is printed onto the fabric, instead of woven by colored thread. Print fabric might be pieced dyed after being woven, and then printed on again. When done by hand, this is known as block printing. Block printed fabrics are most often created by cutting out patterns from wood blocks, which are then dipped in dyes that are pressed in repeated patterns onto fabric. Given the process is done by hand, it is natural to see deviations and slight aberrations in the pattern - which results in a desirable imperfection.

Print (Screen)

Screen printing is the most common form of fabric printing, as it allows for a fast transfer of pattern to the fabric. Screens usually produce a much more detailed pattern than hand blocked methods.


Pin dot fabrics is short hand for jacquard fabrics that have a raised weave, in consistent patterns. The pattern might be dots, or other geometric shapes.