Here you can learn how fabrics for shirts are made, and which special fabrics we use for our collection, as well as their properties. Perhaps this will give you a little better idea of how the fabrics of our shirts feel, even without “touching” them.
First of all – all shirts produced by RIESENHEMD Hamburg are made of very high quality fabrics, 100% European cotton, woven in Spain and cut for tall men with normal-slim figure. We use only natural fibers because we think that synthetic fabrics like polyester are not really comfortable in shirts – you sweat more easily and the fabric does not feel so good on your skin. Also from the point of view of appearance, the admixture of synthetic fabrics is not so nice, because the shirts get an “artificial” shine from it. That is why you will find only 100% cotton fabrics in our shop. By the way: All fabrics we use are tested and certified for harmful substances according to the strict “OEKO-TEX® – STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX” procedure.
How are the fabrics for shirts created – a brief introduction
In the first step, the fibers of cotton are spun into yarns – threads are created from them. Fabrics can then be made from the threads using techniques such as weaving, knitting and warp knitting. For men’s shirts, the fabric is almost always a woven fabric, so the threads are woven.
Woven fabrics are produced on looms – in the past by hand, today by machine. In the process, 2 threads are always crossed with each other, they run over and under each other. The threads running lengthwise on the loom are called “warp threads”, the crosswise threads “weft threads”. The way the warp and weft threads are crossed with each other determines the weaving pattern and the structure, stretchability and strength of the fabric.
There are three basic types of weaving, the “plain weave”, the “body weave” and the “atlas weave”:
This is the most commonly used weave; here the weft thread is always passed alternately over and under the warp thread. The fabric is thus very stable and somewhat stronger, but warms comparatively little. The weaving itself does not create a pattern due to the symmetry; this can only be achieved by using differently colored threads.
The plain weave
In this weave, the weft thread is alternately under one and over two warp threads. You can recognize this type of weave by the diagonal weave lines, as the pattern is offset by one thread in each row. The fabric is warmer, softer and more durable than plain weave.
The body weave
In this fabric, the weft thread is alternately above one and below four warp threads, the pattern is offset by one thread in each row. This fabric is uniform and durable, the front side looks smoother and shinier compared to the back side, the fabric falls softly.
The atlas weave
In the following, the fabrics of our shirts are further described, so that you can better imagine how our fabrics feel. We also show the grammage, listed in grams per square meter (“gr/m²”). This measurement indicates how heavy or dense the fabric is. The higher the gram number, the “denser” and heavier the fabric.
This fabric is made in plain weave, in combination of a densely set warp thread (from relatively fine thread yarns) and a wider set, but therefore somewhat fuller weft thread. Shirts made of poplin are breathable, durable, high quality and comfortable to wear. In addition, they crease little. Our shirts Berlin, Oslo, Stockholm and Brussels are sewn from two different threads, this creates a shimmering effect, also called chambray effect. For the Berlin shirt the combination is dark blue-blue, for Stockholm black-dark gray, for Oslo blue-white and for Brussels light blue. The fabrics of the shirts have different grammage, the shirt Oslo is slightly thicker with a grammage of 155 gr/m² and therefore more suitable for colder days. The shirts Berlin, Stockholm and Brussels are slightly thinner, with a grammage of 110 gr / m², and thus wonderful to wear even in summer.
This fabric is woven in body weave. This uses a combination of different colors in warp threads and weft threads to create a very fine and elegant structure. The fabric is easy to iron and durable. Our London and Paris shirts are made of a full-twisted fil-à-fil fabric with two white threads. This creates a very subtle contrast that will make the shirt look very elegant – the shirt has a certain something that is immediately recognizable. The fabric we use has a grammage of 120 gr/m²; the shirt can be worn well all year round.
Heringbone twill / herringbone pattern:
This fabric is woven in body weave; the characteristic feature of this fabric is the zigzag structure, reminiscent of a bone. Herringbone shirts look very elegant and are something special. Our shirt Zurich is made of a blue herringbone twill. The fabric feels soft and comfortable and has a very subtle and elegant shine. The fabric we use has a grammage of 155 gr/m², so you can wear the shirt well even on slightly colder days.
The characteristic feature of this fabric is the mixture between undyed and dyed cotton yarns woven in plain weave. The fabric is durable and falls somewhat less softly than, for example, poplin. Shirts made from oxford fabrics are thus somewhat less formal, but still look elegant. Our Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, Prague and Athens shirts are woven from a great oxford fabric in a striped look. The blend of colors and the texture of the fabric makes the shirts look very casual. You can use them both a little less formal in the office and mainly as casual shirts. The Rome shirt, on the other hand, is also made of an oxford fabric, but is very elegant in design and designed for the office. The oxford fabrics we use have a grammage of 110 – 140 gr/m², which makes the shirts easy to wear all year round.
Blended fabric cotton linen:
For our shirt Monaco we have chosen a very fine blend of cotton and linen, in the ratio 70/30. This makes the fabric summery-light and casual. Since the cotton portion predominates, the fabric also does not crease as pure linen fabrics have this in itself. The fabric we use has a grammage of 122 gr/m², so the shirt can be worn not only in summer, but all year round.
Here again in tabular form an overview of our shirts and fabrics:
|Brussels||Poplin||110 gr/m2||Sanforize*, Full twist shirt (2-Ply)|
|London||Fil à Fil||120 gr/m2||Easy iron|
|Paris||Fil à Fil||120 gr/m2||Easy iron|
|Monaco||Blended fabric (cotton linen)||122 gr/m2||Sanforize*|
*Sanforizing (or shrinking) is a finishing process that prevents subsequent shrinkage of the fabrics