Beginner's Guide: Oxford Cloth

April 5, 2016

Constructed using a basketweave method, oxford is primarily used for woven shirts (the famous oxford cloth button-down shirt). Using the under, over technique, threads are woven into yards of fabric used for shirts, bottoms, and light weight jackets.

Types of Oxfords

The 3 types of Oxfords are Standard, Pinpoint, and Royal. Traditional is the most durable and heavy.

Standard - Many of our customers use it for casual shirts, where its most common incarnation is the Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt. Some typical weights of this fabric are traditional 170 grams per square meter (gsm) as well as a "summer weight" alternative of 140gsm.

Pinpoint - Great in casual and dressier occasions, pinpoint oxfords typically use thinner yarns and have a higher weave density than their traditional counterparts. Pinpoint is usually milled to be 120gsm.

Royal - This is considered the type you would wear with a suit. It has more of a silky sheen to it, and is woven a bit differently with a higher thread count. Often times, brands will pair this with more formal details like fresh cuffs or heavier fabric.

Compositions

Traditionally, oxford is made of strictly cotton. However, there have been many varieties of blends made with a variety of different fibers. These are its most common combinations.

Cotton - 100% cotton. With low MOQs, and a high variety of uses, custom fabric can be developed starting at about 500 yards.

Cotton and Elastane - Whenever you see shirt features that include "stretch," the fabric is woven with another material. In oxfords, that is usually elastane(frequently 98% cotton / 2% elastane). The material and percentages can vary a bit, this can allow your brand to call their fabric "proprietary." However, minimums for these fabrics can be high, about 2000 yards per color.

Cotton/ Polyester - This blend of oxford provides a less expensive alternative to 100% cotton. Recently, brands have also been able to use the polyester content to brand this as a moisture or sweat wicking type of garment. Easy care Minimums for cotton / polyester is high and starts at about 2000 yards per color.

Vendors

Oxford is an extremely popular fabric. Though we have our own stock fabric and can counter source, we also have partner vendors that specialize in Japanese, Italian, and Functional fabrics.