Dress shirt material guide

Dress shirts are stitched with the help of different materials such as buckram, threads, buttons and fabric. In this guide, we will briefly describe the materials used in dress shirts.


Buckram is a stiff cloth generally made up of cotton but also sometimes of linen. It is used in shirt collars to stiff them. Buckram is stiffened by soaking it in a substance known as pyroxylin, which fills gap between the fibers. The stiffness of buckram comes in three types, for button collar dress shirts, baby buckram is used, which is very soft and can be easily bend. The second type is single-ply buckram, which is used in most of the collars; it remains stiff to hold the perfect shape of the collar. The third type is double-ply buckram, which is quite thick and very hard. It is generally not used in collars; its actual use is in hats.


Threads are made up of almost every other material. In shirts manufacturing, mostly cotton threads are used. In shirts, thread is of basic essence as the whole shirt is stitched from it. Low quality or readymade shirts have lightweight thread, which means low-level thread that can be easily broken with a slightest stretch. However, in custom made shirts, heavy weight thread is used, which makes the shirt's stitching quite stiff and of high quality. Using heavy thread makes the shirt life longer and durable as with usage and washing, lightweight thread losses its strength and break automatically without even stretching. While heavy thread holds its position for long time.


Button is a small fastener, made up of plastic. It is used to secure two pieces of fabric together. In dress shirts, buttons are used in plackets, collar and cuffs. It works by slipping through the thread loop or buttonhole. In dress shirts, sew through or flat buttons are commonly used. These buttons have 2 to 4 holes, through which thread is sewn to attach button. In dress shirt placket, usually 5 to 7 buttons are attached to close the shirt from front. On cuffs single or double buttons are attached or sometimes no buttons regarding the type of cuff used in shirt.


The dress shirt is made of clothing fabric. Most fabric names refer to the particular method in which underlying fibers are woven. The most popular fabrics used in dress shirts are oxford, cotton, poplin, twill, broadcloth, pinpoint, etc.

The oxford fabric is quite coarse and not soft. It has textured appearance and usually used in casual type dressing. Poplin has smooth texture and is crisp in touch, usually used in warmer climates. Twill has fine diagonal weave that gives soft cloth and elegant luster, usually used as professional dress shirt. Pinpoint is a pure office ware material; have soft feel and quite durable.

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