We review samples of many fabrics so that we can choose the best combination of comfort, durability, breathability, tear-resistance, fade-resistance and washability for each garment.
The fabrics that we review are:
100% cotton fabric - as we all know, this has excellent breathability but fine cotton (which has the best breathability) can tear and fade easily. Thick, cheaper cotton weaves have reduced breathability and can still tear and fade easily. Even when perfectly ironed, 100% cotton can look creased within minutes of putting it on. It can also shrink if tumble-dried.
Perfect for: expensive tailored shirts (fine cotton)
100% "non-iron" cotton fabric - this is treated with formaldehyde, which bonds the cotton fibres together to make the fabric "non-iron". Unfortunately, in the process the cotton loses it's best feature - it's breathability. Formaldehyde has been identified as a carcinogen. Although it is not considered to be dangerous when used to treat clothing, companies like Johnson and Johnson have removed it from all products for children.
We do not use this fabric
Polyester fabric - this is durable, tear-resistant and fade-resistant but does not breathe. It is machine-washable and easy to iron. It should not be tumble-dried but dries easily.
We do not use this fabric
Cotton/polyester blend fabric - this combines the breathability of cotton with the tear-resistance, fade-resistance and durability of polyester. It is machine-washable and easy to iron.
Perfect for: shirts (fine fabric) and trousers/skirts (thicker fabric) that need to survive heavy wear
Fine knit cotton fabric - this is breathable, soft, tear-resistant and machine-washable. It should not be tumble-dried since it can shrink at hot temperatures even if it has been pre-shrunk.
Perfect for: soft winter shirts that need to survive heavy wear
Wool blend fabric - this is soft, warm and comfortable but has lower tear-resistance than cotton/polyester. It is also more expensive. It cannot be tumble-dried.
Perfect for: smart trousers
Fine knit cotton/polyester - this is warm, soft, tear-resistant, fade-resistant and machine-washable. It should not be tumble-dried but dries quickly.
Perfect for: warm sweaters and cardigans that are not bulky and need to be washed frequently
Knit cotton - cotton does not retain heat (it breathes) so cotton sweaters are not warm. They also fade and lose their shape easily.
Perfect for: light summer sweaters and cardigans that will not be worn frequently
Bamboo - this amazing fabric is soft, durable, breathable and growing bamboo uses a fraction of the water and pesticides required to grow cotton. Bamboo fibre can be woven into many types of fabric.
Perfect for: socks, tights, shirts and polo shirts.
Recycled fleece - all fleece is made from plastic but 100% recycled fleece is made from plastic bottles, which helps to reduce landfill. Fleece fabric comes in many different weights and densities. We constantly review fleece fabrics to select those with the best softness, warmth and washability.
Perfect for: fleece jackets, winter hats and scarves