University of Oxford

Men’s Oxford Shirt – A Bit of History

Perhaps you have a men’s oxford shirt or two in your closet. However, do you really know the history behind those shirts? Not all shirts or weaves have a history, like men’s oxford shirts so it is nice to know a little of the history when available.

The cloth used for a men’s oxford shirt traces all the way back to Great Britain in the 19th century. The fabric has a pattern that is distinctive. It looks much like a basket weave. Still today, many dress shirts are made out of the oxford cloth that was developed so long ago.

During the 19th century, it was a Scottish fabric mill that started using cotton to make the oxford cloth. It is only one of the different shirt fabrics that has been named after a university that is famous. This one was named after Oxford University. The three other universities that have been used include Yale, Harvard, and Cambridge.

Both synthetic and cotton fabrics are used to make oxford cloth today. In fact, you’ll find more than a men’s oxford shirt made out of this fabric. Often it can be found in sports attire, women’s shirts, and even skirts.

Oxford fabric has some unique features. Two fine yarns are taken and woven against a yarn that is heavier to make this fabric. In many cases, the heavier yarn that is used is a different color than the finer yarns. It is the contrast in color that provides the unique pattern of oxford cloth.

You may find it interesting that men’s oxford shirts were actually worn by polo players for some time. It wasn’t until the polo shirts were introduced by Rene Lacoste in the 1930s that polo players stopped wearing shirts made from this oxford fabric.

Several different types of oxford cloth are available. You can find Royal oxford cloth and Pinpoint oxford cloth. Both of these options are lighter weight than the regular cloth and they also use yarns that are finer. Now that you know a bit of the history behind men’s oxford shirts, you’ll have something to think about when you don one of those shirts in your closet.

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