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Shirt Fabric Weaves Guide

The ultimate guide to men's dress shirt fabric & weaves.

Below is our shirt fabric guide to help you understand the many different weaves of traditional men’s shirts. Here we provide a definitive shirt weave overview. This includes a clear image of the actual fabric plus a weave construction diagram for your easy understanding. The weave is the way in which the threads of cotton called warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) are woven together to make a fabric. Different weaving techniques create different fabric properties. By understanding the different fabric weaves you can find the ideal dress shirt fabric for your needs.



Poplin, also known as broadcloth, is probably what you would think of as “standard” shirt fabric and has a classic crisp characteristic. Poplin is woven with a simple over and under weave. This weave creates a substantial fabric that is soft but also cool and breathable. Poplin is also a strong, very smooth and durable fabric that has an almost silky hand feel. A poplin shirt generally feels the smoothest out of all weaves thanks to their lack of texture, but can also be the most prone to wrinkling. We suggest poplin shirts for: formal occasions, for everyday business looks, and for ceremonies.
Poplin Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Oxford is a basket weave where multiple weft threads are crossed over an equal number of warp threads. Often, one color of weft is crossed with a white warp thread resulting in a two-tone color appearance. The two-by-two weave creates a slightly rougher texture but is more durable than most fabrics. This texture makes the fabric thicker and warm, perfect to wear on cool days. The oxford weave is popular in casual shirts, particularly with a button-down collar, although Oxford shirts can certainly be worn to the office if the cut and finish are professional enough. Overall, a tailored oxford shirt is a wardrobe essential for its durability and versatility. We suggest Oxford shirts for: family gatherings, casual days at the office.
Oxford Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail

Pinpoint Oxford

Pinpoint (also referred to as pinpoint oxford) has the same weave as oxford cloth, the difference is the two-and-one weave structure. The single weft crosses two warp threads forming a pin point look. This fabric is a cross between poplin and oxford. It is more formal than oxford cloth, but less formal than poplin or twill. Pinpoint fabrics are generally not transparent and are slightly heavier and thicker than poplin. Because of their heavier construction, pinpoint shirts are fairly durable fabrics. We suggest a pinpoint shirt for: everyday business looks, and a dinner date.
Pinpoint Oxford Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Twill fabric is easily recognizable because of the noticeable diagonal weave or texture. A twill is made by weaving each warp and weft threads over and under two vertical threads to create a distinctive diagonal pattern. Twill fabric is softer and thicker than poplin, and is also resistant to creases and easy to iron. It drapes very well, creating a great shirt fabric. The trade-off is that a twill shirt doesn’t have as crisp a look and as cool a feel against the skin that poplin creates. We suggest a twill shirt for: great everyday shirts from business to travel.
Twill Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Chambray is a workwear poplin or broadcloth. It is a plain weave fabric made with heavier thread for a more relaxed or workwear appeal. Chambray fabric is woven with a colored yarn in the warp and a white yarn in the weft. It's a great alternative to shirt weight denim that has the same color variation. Because a chambray shirt has a basic weave it is able to be woven finer than that of denim which has a more complex twill weave. We suggest a chambray shirt for: summer/fall workwear.
Chambray Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Denim is often thought of as a pant fabric, but denim used in shirting creates a durable work alternative. The construction of denim is a twill weave. To create the two-tone look colored thread is crossed with a white thread. The color sits on the face of the fabric and the white pulls to the back side. The colored yarns are often created using indigo dye. When it comes to denim shirting, you’re going to find much softer and lighter fabric than the fabric of your jeans. We suggest Denim shirts for: Fall and Winter casual looks, and to create the famed Canadian tuxedo - wear a denim shirt and jeans.
Denim Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


End-on-end broadcloths are a very popular type of dress shirt fabric. End-on-end is a poplin weave in which the weft thread is one color and the warp thread is another color. Most often end-on-end is crossed with white for a more traditional look. This fabric appears to be a true solid color from a distance, but it has more dimension up-close. It is a great alternative to standard poplin to add some variety to your dress shirt options. We suggest End-on-End shirts for: business dress occasions.
End-on-End Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail

Royal Oxford

Royal Oxford could be thought of as the handsome cousin to the classic oxford. A slight change in the weave makes the difference. Although there is a basic structure similarity between the two weaves, royal oxford is constructed by a two-three-two structure. This creates a dressy fabric with a distinctive luster and texture. We suggest Royal Oxford shirts for: business casual, and formal dress occasions.
Royal Oxford Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Herringbone is a twill that is mirrored when woven to create a chevron, “V-shaped” look. The fabrics name comes from its resemblance to the bones of a herring fish. Similar patterns in tile and brick have made this centuries old style a classic. This weave enjoys all the benefits of the twill weave, so herringbone fabrics drape well and are easy to iron. Herringbone has a smooth feel, a textured warmth, and a slight sheen. The added patterning makes this a great crossover fabric, solving both dress and casual shirt needs. We suggest Herringbone shirts for: business dress occasions, and casual occasions when you want to add detail to your look.
Herringbone Dress Shirt Fabric Weave Detail


Jacquard weave is created using a specific loom designed to produce patterned fabrics. Using a mix of different weaves, the possibilities of patterns are endless. A simple geometric pattern like a dot, or window pane, to a complex paisley can be created. Jacquards are great way to add a very subtle pattern to your style. Jacquards can be made one color or a mix of colors to create even more complex patterns. Often the back side of a jacquard is the mirror image of the pattern. We suggest Jacquard shirts for: any occasion to promote your personal style!
Jacquard Shirt Fabric Weave Detail