Cloth Selection

By Harris & Howard

Cloth Selection

Cloth Selection

By Harris & Howard

Cloth Selection

How many bespoke shirts should have a man have in his wardrobe? Generally, one for every day of the month would be perfect, but that makes for a lot of cloth to select! Selecting the cloth for your bespoke shirts can be a tricky and even a little bit daunting. We have hundreds of cloth swatches to pick from and many can look the same or similar, making it difficult to know which is the right one for you. 

The secret is, it’s the way the cloth is woven that gives the shirt its unique quality. The weave of the cloth is an important attribute into whether a shirt is for formal or casual wear.  So which cloth is going to work best for you? Here’s a quick breakdown of some of our shirt fabrics and their weaves.


Broadcloth is a quintessential shirt fabric. Otherwise known as poplin, broadcloth is compactly woven in a simple over-weave, making it a thin, light and smooth cloth to wear. Broadcloth is a popular option for smart, formal shirts and gents wanting to bear little texture in their shirts.


A popular weave used for both casual and formal occasions, twill fabrics are distinguished by their diagonal ribbed texture. Due to the nature of the diagonal weave, twill fabrics are soft, less likely to wrinkle and easy to iron. Twills also tend to be richer and of a heavier variation of cloth. Varieties of twill include herringbone, houndstooth, cavalry and gabardine.


Historically, satin became a sought-after luxury in shirt making owing to its a shiny, lustrous appeal. Man-made and classically woven with silk threads, the glossy appearance of satin gives an exclusive feel to the shirt and is generally worn for formal occasions under a glamorous dinner jacket or suit.


A cloth made from multiple weaves; flannel is a soft woven fabric. The fabric undergoes a special brushing technique to give it that fuzzy texture it’s known for, called a “nap”. Generally worn as casual wear, this cloth tends to be worn in the colder months due to its thick, warm weave.


Originally created for sportswear, the oxford cloth tends to be reserved for casual shirts because of its coarse, heavy texture. In the process of weaving, multiple yarns are passed over each other in vertical and horizontal directions forming a basket weave. The fabric may have a rough texture but it’s a breathable and durable fabric, popularly worn today with a button-down shirt collar. 

Pinpoint Oxford

Similar to the oxford, the pinpoint oxford is woven forming the basket weave, however, the yarn used is much finer and the weave is woven tighter. The cloth has a soft texture and crisp appearance. It’s a more formal option to the oxford shirt - feel confident wearing it for both business wear and a social night out. 


Highly favoured for its cool to touch feel, freshness in hot, humid weather and its breathability, Linen makes for perfect shirt cloth for summer. In a laborious process, natural fibres from the flax plant are woven together to form the cloth. The fibre is very strong, absorbent and more sheer than cotton, however, the disadvantage is that it wrinkles more easily.

Other popular reads

View all news »