The most important things to consider, other than the general properties and qualities of the fabric that points to the use of best yarns, are Thread count and ply and use of the best weaving processes.
You will hear thread count mentioned as numbers starting from 50 to even 1000s. Higher the thread counts the softer, smoother and silkier the fabric and of course more expensive.
Regarding ply construction, there will be single-ply fabrics and two-ply fabrics. The two-ply fabrics have two yarns spun into one to prevent wear and tear problems like pilling. Fabrics with more than 100 thread counts will usually have a two-ply construction with two yarns twisted together, which makes for a durable fabric
Check out 5 most common fabric that Apparel Empire uses:
1. Fine cotton
I will not beat around the bush. If you can afford a high quality cotton like Pima, Swiss or Egyptian cotton of two ply cottons with a high thread count of at least 160 to 220 you do not need to read any further. Go and buy that because shirts made with these fabrics will stand all tests of time and wear and make you look elegant and dapper throughout.
Cotton fabrics like Egyptian, Sea Island, or American Pima cotton – these are the best and most desirable fabric for making shirts. They are very expensive as well. But there is a reason for that.
These cotton fabric are all made from the fibers of the same plant with a cotton termed as extra long staple length which means they can be made into fine and strong yarns with which these fabrics are made of. They are the softest with very high thread count and has a two-ply construction.
Poplin, the most popular shirt fabric, is a plain weave fabric which is smooth, cool and breathable with a crisp feel. A good quality poplin is a superfine tightly woven, high-quality fabric. It is an overall favourite for making dress shirts. The fabric is soft and very smooth to the touch.
One disadvantage I can see with poplin as a shirt fabric is that if you want a completely opaque fabric this is not for you – it is thin and ever so slightly transparent. But this makes it lightweight which is an advantage.
Twill is a fabric weave and the many fabrics which are made in this weave like Herringbone and Denim and Houndstooth and Cavalry are all very popular for making shirts. Twill weave makes the fabrics very soft to the touch but it is heavier than cotton, silk or poplin. It is a very durable and strong fabric but at the same time it hangs well on the body
Nothing is more elegant than clothes made of linen and it gets better with age and washings. It is more loosely woven and sheer than cotton and the most suitable fabric for wearing in hot summer climates
But it wrinkles a lot and is not the most drapey – you must know it is slightly crisp – which of course adds to its look of elegance. But if you do not mind the disadvantage and you want a fabric that is natural and that breathes, nothing like linen. It is classy.
I have been talking about 100% linen fabric – but if you take blended linen like a bamboo-linen blend, some of the problems of the linen has been taken care of .; it will wrinkle less and will be more drapey. Same is the case with a cotton/linen blend
5 Oxford fabric / Pinpoint fabric
Both are medium weight slightly rough shirt materials which are warm, breathable and very durable. They are not suitable for formal fine office wear/dressy shirts .Both the fabrics are rougher and tougher and heavier than a poplin . These fabrics are more suitable for casual /work wear /sportwear.The oxford fabric is famous for its namesake shirt, the oxford shirt, the casual shirt worn with a button-down collar