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What's The Best Fabric For Men's Shirts?

Apr 22,2023 | PoisonStreetWear

The most common and widely accepted fabric for men's shirts is cotton. Cotton shirts are strong, soft, smooth, luxurious, and elegant. Cotton shirts are also breathable, making them a good choice for hot summer days or stuffy offices, as they help keep you cool. However, cotton shirts tend to wrinkle easily, which can easily be a hassle to iron every morning.Men's Floral Print Beach Shirt

A polyester and cotton blend is a good choice for those who prefer low-maintenance options. These shirts are less likely to wrinkle and maintain their appearance for longer than 100% cotton shirts. However, these blends can be less breathable and not as comfortable in hot weather as pure cotton shirts.

The most popular blend is 65% polyester and 35% cotton, but these shirts may not be as comfortable to wear and can look a bit cheap. If you buy a blended shirt, look for one with at least 50% cotton. Generally, the more cotton in the blend, the more luxurious the shirt will look.

There are several commonly used fabrics available:

The first type is wool.

Fabrics with at least 50% wool are comfortable, and the 20-eye material is preferred.

The second type is combed cotton with 24-eye fabric.

Fabrics with at least 80% cotton are preferred as they are comfortable.

The third type is synthetic fabrics with added softeners.

These fabrics have a smooth and soft texture.

What fabric is best for shirts?

100% cotton is a popular fabric for shirt-making and plays a vital role in various areas such as home and leisure wear and sportswear. Cotton shirts have good moisture-wicking, critical breathability, a soft hand feel, and absorb sweat, providing people with a comfortable and healthy wearing experience, which consumers highly trust and favor. However, pure cotton tends to deform and wrinkle easily, so proper cleaning and maintenance are necessary.

As someone selling men's clothing and shoes for ten years, I recommend avoiding choosing pure cotton fabrics. Cotton clothes tend to fade, deform, and may even shrink. Nowadays, the cotton content in shirts is usually reduced to prevent these issues. Instead, brands increase the range of nylon, spandex, linen, and Tencel fibers to improve the clothes' elasticity, breathability, and rebound. Many shirts are made of satin cotton fabric, with a matte finish, soft touch, and comfortable fit, making them look high-end and luxurious. Therefore, paying attention to and feeling the material by hand is essential when buying clothes.

How to choose shirt fabrics?

Clothes cannot make an ordinary person a gentleman, but a true gentleman always has to maintain a gentlemanly demeanor, even when choosing shirts. Every aspect is essential, from the fabric's color to the cutting style and even the type of cotton. It is necessary to understand the material to make the perfect choice when customizing a shirt.

Cotton has been cultivated in India for 5,000 years. In the 11th century, cotton was introduced from India to China. Around the same time, the Inca people began growing cotton in Central America. In the old world, the Arabs discovered cotton in Persia and introduced it to North Africa, Sicily, and southern Spain. For about 300 years, Venice was the primary cotton production market for cotton production in the Levant. In the 17th century, the Netherlands became the main trading center for this essential raw material. Large-scale cotton processing began in the 18th century in England and Switzerland. Nowadays, cotton is mainly grown in the southern states of the United States, which is also the birthplace of many cotton trees worldwide.

Standard Terms in Shirt Fabric

Warp and weft

are made by interweaving yarns horizontally and vertically. The vertical threads are called the warp, while the threads woven across the warp are called the weft or filling.


refers to the method of interlacing warp and weft yarns. There are three weaving methods: plain weave, twill, and satin.


is made by twisting fiber bundles together to form a thread.


is a very lightweight and tightly woven fabric, often with a soft color tone.

Common Shirt Fabrics


is a fiber made from the seed fibers of cotton plants and is grown in tropical and subtropical climates.

High-count poplin

is a lightweight plain-weave fabric made from high-quality cotton yarn? The finest cotton poplin, made from Egyptian Mako cotton, is also known as Swiss Batiste.


is a coarser fabric made from dyed and undyed threads, used for durable and soft shirts. There are many types of Oxford fabrics, but they are generally rougher and more casual than fine cotton poplin or silk fabrics.

Royal Oxford

is a more refined version of the standard Oxford cloth. Like Oxford cloth, it is made from dyed and undyed threads, but the fine yarn used in Royal Oxford makes shirts made from this fabric smoother and softer than regular Oxford shirts.

Sea Island Cotton

has always been the most expensive cotton fabric. It has a higher thread count than silk, giving it a smoother texture. Sea Island cotton has about 140 threads per inch (compared to about 100 for fine poplin), resulting in more apparent stripes, checks, and deeper, richer colors. This is why it is particularly suitable for eye-catching patterns.

Egyptian Long-Staple Cotton

is world-renowned and known as the "platinum" of cotton. It has long fibers (over 31.8 millimeters), a silky luster, a tough texture, and good dyeing properties. The main varieties are GIZA 45, GIZA 70, and GIZA 86, with GIZA 70 being the largest in production, accounting for about 75% of the total output of Egyptian long-staple cotton, and GIZA 86 accounting for about 10%. GIZA 45 is the best in terms of length and physical indicators, but its production is minimal. GIZA 70 is the mainstream variety in the market, and Chinese companies mainly import this variety of Egyptian long-staple cotton.

Herringbone Twill

is similar to ribbed twill, with yarns woven together in a diagonal pattern to create a zigzag design. To achieve the herringbone effect, the diagonal direction changes every 1/5 inch (about 5 millimeters) to form a zigzag pattern.


is a mixed fabric that combines wool's warmth with cotton's comfort. Viyella flannel is mainly used to produce Tartans shirts. This fabric is named after Richard Tattersall, an English knight who always used this fabric as his horse blanket.

 There are four common types of fabric used for shirts, each with its characteristics

(1) 100% cotton fabric

Shirts made of pure cotton fabric are comfortable, soft, and absorbent but wrinkle easily, are prone to deformation, and are susceptible to dyeing or discoloration. A high-quality shirt should at least be made of pure cotton. As someone who understands clothing, you should know how to determine which cotton fabric is perfect. The key to good fabric is its durability, washability, visual appearance, and comfort. The thread count is just one indicator of the quality of the raw material, and many other factors affect the characteristics of the raw material, such as the yarn count and weight. Using thread count as the main parameter to measure the quality of the fabric is a misleading practice.

(2) T/C blended fabric

This fabric is made by blending cotton and synthetic fibers proportionately. This fabric combines the advantages of cotton and synthetic fibers while minimizing their respective disadvantages. Most ordinary shirts are made of this fabric, which has a more complex texture and is less comfortable to wear than pure cotton. It is less prone to deformation, wrinkles, dyeing, or discoloration, and its characteristics shift towards either pure cotton or pure polyester, depending on the ratio of cotton and polyester. Blended fabrics are widely used in mid-to-low-grade shirt products, and some blends have some functional properties, such as relatively high elasticity, and are also used in higher-end specialty shirts.

(3) 100% synthetic fabric

It is a textile made from polymer compounds as raw materials. Their advantages are bright colors, soft texture, durability, stiffness, smoothness, and comfort. Their disadvantages are poor abrasion resistance, heat resistance, moisture absorption, and air permeability, and they are prone to deformation under heat and static electricity. Although they can be used to make various clothing, their overall quality is not high, and they are difficult to elegant. As far as shirts are concerned, 100% synthetic fabric usually means low-grade and cheap. However, certain synthetic fabrics have unique properties, such as high elasticity, breathability, water resistance, glossiness, and abrasion resistance. Therefore, pure synthetic fabrics are also used in special-purpose shirts, such as glossy performance clothing, elastic dance clothing, and waterproof outdoor clothing.

(4) Linen fabric

The aristocrat among shirt fabrics, linen is comfortable, soft, and absorbent but wrinkles easily, is prone to deformation, and is susceptible to dyeing or discoloration. Although we have seen a lot of literature in recent years where "yuppies" have tried their best to promote their pure cotton white shirts, do not be fooled. Anyone who knows how to wear a sweater should know that linen is the best material for shirts.