What comes to your mind when you hear the wordcraftsmanship? Perhaps expertise, quality, and care. Why should you care about craftsmanship? Because it’s important (and sometimes interesting) to understand what you are paying for when buying anything! On a dress shirt, craftsmanship can be highlighted by two important features: Pattern matching and split yoke.
Pattern matching means that the patterns are aligned at the critical seams: shirt front, split yoke, shoulder to sleeve, or even side seams. You may think that patterns match up on all shirts, but take a closer look. It’s likely that many of the patterned shirts in your closet do not match up at the seams.
Pattern matching doesn’t just reflect well on the quality of the shirt, it reflects well on you too! It makes you appear more refined, exemplifying your good taste and attention to detail.
Most brands neglect pattern matching because it requires more fabrics and production time, and most importantly, skilled workers. So if you see a shirt on which the patterns are matched at the seams, you know it was crafted with extra care, and it’s likely to have other high quality elements as well.
Though pattern matching may seem like a simple task, it’s actually very complex and requires tremendous effort to get it done just right. The process starts with using computer aided design software to layout the paper pattern precisely, making sure the fabric’s pattern will be matched down the production line.
Once the paper patterns are printed, craftsmen pin the fabric to the marks on the paper on a needle bed, layer by layer, to ensure the patterns are aligned correctly. When the fabric is cut, seamstresses manually group the pieces together so each shirt is made up by the same layer of fabric for optimal pattern matching result. Finally, they make small adjustments as the fabric is skillfully and carefully sewn together as the finishing touch of the pattern matching process.
Another important feature that highlights the craftsmanship of a well made dress shirt is split yoke. This is the upper back part of a shirt that connects the collar and the shoulder. On generic shirts, the yoke is made of one piece of fabric. High quality shirts employ a split yoke, which means the yoke is made up of two tilted pieces of fabric.
Apart from offering a better look, split yoke increases the comfort of a shirt by allowing more stretch. High quality cotton does not stretch well when pulled vertically or horizontally, which is what typical yoke allows for. To combat this, the split yoke strategically angles the fabric to provide more stretch and allow you to move more freely.
Pattern matching and split yoke are both qualities of excellent craftsmanship. They not only take more time and require higher production costs, they also demand great knowledge and skills. In today’s world, most manufacturers emphasize efficiency over quality. At Onefit, however, we partner only with high quality manufacturers and emphasize craftsmanship every step of the way. Every shirt of ours features pattern matching and split yoke design, see for yourself!
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