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A Primer on Oxford Weave

A Rich Heritage
Oxford Weave

Despite popular belief, Oxford cloth did not originate in Oxford, but rather in a textile mill in Scotland in the latter part of the 19th century. Apparently, in a shrewd marketing maneuver, the mill created four different fabrics named after four of the most prestigious universities of the day – Yale, Cambridge, Harvard and Oxford. Today, little is known about what happened to the other three fabrics, but clearly it was Oxford cloth that proved to be the big winner.


The shirt we know today as the Oxford comes in two main styles – the ever-popular button-down, and the standard point collar. But it is the weave of the fabric that truly defines an Oxford. To create the cloth, strands of yarn are woven in a basket-weave pattern in which multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. The threads are usually of a single color crossed with a white thread, which gives Oxford cloth its distinctive pattern.

Ivy League associations aside, one of the main reasons for the popularity of Oxford cloth is its unique combination of softness and strength. It is both durable and comfortable, and it comes in a variety of different weights, so it can be worn either casually or professionally depending on the thread count and finish.

Today, both synthetic and cotton fabrics are used to make Oxford cloth, but at Hugh & Crye we use only 100% Egyptian cotton for our shirts, and each shirt undergoes a special wash for an incredibly soft yet resilient finish. After all, it can’t truly be called a classic if it isn’t of the highest possible quality.

Examples of Oxford Weave Shirts
Contrast gussets on a men's dress shirt
An American Classic

Once favored by English polo players, the classic, button-down Oxford has become an American staple.

Close up of oxford weave on a men's dress shirt
Contrasting Basket Weave

A single-color thread is woven in contrast with an opposing white thread. Colors can be added to create a pattern.

Hugh & Crye oxford weave shirts
100% Egyptian Cotton

Our Oxfords are made of the very best materials, undergo a special wash and come in a variety of colors.