Fabric Thickness and Weight

Overview

When choosing a dress shirt fabric, you may want to consider how the thickness and construction of the fabric will play a role in how warm it is, how easily it wrinkles, and whether it’s sheer or opaque.

Proper Cloth Thickness and Weight Measurement

We measure the thickness of each of our fabrics to the nearest thousandth of an inch to provide an objective measurement of the fabric weight. Dress shirt fabrics generally range from 0.006″ thick (incredibly light) to 0.015″ thick (very heavy).

On our Fabric page we offer the ability to filter by fabric thickness. The following are the categorizations we give fabrics of each thickness measurement:

 

Very Lightweight: 0.006″-0.007″

Lightweight: 0.008″

Medium Weight: 0.009″

Medium Heavyweight: 0.010″-0.011″

Heavyweight: 0.012″-0.014″

Very Heavyweight: 0.015″

 

Although, as a general rule, you can assume that fabric thickness and weight correspond to fabric weave type, there are some exceptions due to the specific threads used in each fabric. Below we’ve laid out more guidelines along with specific examples of each fabric type from our own inventory.

Very Lightweight Fabrics

These fabrics are some of the lightest on the market. They tend to be breathable and great for warm weather, and they also have a tendency to wrinkle more than heavier fabrics. They may also be more see-through, though the darker the color the less likely this is. Generally speaking, broadcloths, linens, and cotton and linen blends fall into this category, though we carry many other fabrics that are categorized as very lightweight:

Lightweight Fabrics

These fabrics are light with a bit more body to them. They tend to be good for year-round wear, and may wrinkle a bit, though we offer several wrinkle-resistant and non-iron options to counteract that. These fabrics drape well and are great for business wear. Lighter twills make up the majority of this category, along with several other weave types and some lighter casual fabrics:

Medium Weight Fabrics

This category includes year-round fabrics, including many more casual weaves. They tend to hold up against wrinkling fairly well on their own. You should not have any issue with opacity with these fabrics, although whites will still show through somewhat. Non-iron fabrics, chambrays, light flannels, and wrinkle-resistant twills make up the majority of this category:

Medium Heavyweight Fabrics

These fabrics are most suitable for cool weather and casual wear. They are naturally rather wrinkle resistant and quite warm. Many of these fabrics also have a pronounced weave. In this category, imperial twills and royal oxfords are great for formal wear, while chambrays and flannels are solid casual options:

Heavyweight Fabrics

These are some of the heaviest fabrics, and tend to fall on the more casual side. They tend to hold in heat well and are very durable. The majority of this category consists of thick flannels, corduroys, and heavy oxfords:

Very Heavyweight Fabrics

Shirting fabrics don’t get much heavier than this. These are decidedly cold-weather fabrics that tend to have more visible texture. This category includes heavy oxfords, denim, and flannels: