What is the best fabric to use for shirts?
It depends on what you make of your shirt
Spend any time with our design team at Pink, and you soon learn about the importance of the feel. What matters to us is how a cotton feels next to the skin, how it will only soften with age.“Wearing shirts is such an intimate experience,” says John Ray. “The fabric is next to your skin all day long. How that fabric feels is such a crucial element of the design of the shirt itself.”
Where is the Best Cotton Grown?
Pink is specific about where its cotton is grown. It is either from Giza, in Egypt, or Supima grown in California, USA. Both are known for their exceptional quality of cotton, both creating extra-long staple cotton with long individual fibres. The length of these cotton fibres creates a yarn that is both soft yet robust, that not only keeps its quality but which only softens with every wear.
All of our cottons have long staple fibres, which means there are less exposed ends on the yarn. This is crucial to the long life of the shirt: cotton woven from shorter staple length is more likely to fray, pill and lose colour. Pink actively chooses cotton with longer staples, ensuring fabric that not only retains its feeling, but actually improves with age.
How the cotton compliments the colour
There’s something else about Pink’s cottons. A love of colour is deep in Pink’s heritage. But it’s not just about selecting the perfect shade, whether it be the crispest white or the most vivid combination of stripes. What also counts is the quality of the cloth that will carry that colour.
If you make a shirt from a mediocre cotton, its colour will also be mediocre. Pink selects its cottons specifically so that they can perfectly carry colour. Take a close-up look at a finely striped Pink shirt. The stripes are of such extraordinary clarity to almost appear impossible. The quality of the cotton not only affects the feel, but also the look: the colour that we see when we look at the shirts we are wearing.
Other blends used to make shirts
It’s not just about cottons either. When it comes to linens, as well as cotton/linen mixes, the fabric takes on colour in a whole other way. Instead of the sharpness of colour comes an ease. The natural slub of the cloth is celebrated, the softness of shade becoming part of the design.
Giza 45 Egyptian cotton is considered the king of all Egyptian cotton. The Giza 45 plants are cultivated in a very small area to the East of the Nile delta, and represent only 0.4% of the total annual Egyptian cotton production. Grown in specific areas on the Nile Delta where the soil is the most fertile area of Egypt. Giza cotton is an extra-long staple cotton, making it exceptionally soft vibrant and high performance.
USA (Superior Pima Cotton)
Supima (Superior Pima) is an Extra Long Staple cotton known for its long and fine white fibres. It is grown in California and its identifying characteristics are the absence of pollution of the fibres, due to mechanical harvesting, and a remarkable resistance to pilling.
How our design team uses Superior Pima Cotton
American Supima cotton is used in our plain white shirts as the cotton is mechanically picked which ensures zero contamination, and a clean flawless fabric.
Sea Island Cotton - WISICA
(West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association)
One of the most ancient and precious cotton types in the world. Its production, equal to just 0.006% of the world’s longstaple cotton, is now concentrated mainly in Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica. The annual production of Sea Island Cotton is just 130 bales (110 million bales of cotton produced annually).
How our design team uses Sea Island Cotton
Sea Island Cotton is the one of the most luxurious of all our cottons. Used in limited edition shirts sold exclusive in our Jermyn street and Maddison avenue flagship stores. Also used within our bespoke range.