In the midst of rising global uncertainties, one thing you can be certain about is that your old shirts may not fit like they used to — with new safety measures in place, now is probably the best time to make new shirts before returning to the familiar scenery of your workplace next year.
Amongst the various shirting fabrics that greet our customers, one standout mill is Thomas Mason. Our partnership with the acclaimed brand goes way back, and part of our confidence in their quality lies within the magic of their raw materials — let us walk you through some of the world’s finest cottons to enhance your knowledge, so you’ll know what to look out for the next time you tailor a shirt:
Giza cotton, also known as Egyptian cotton, is extremely rare and precious; since the cultivars are only grown along the Nile River’s delta in Egypt. The Nile River’s water, an essential element in cultivation, and its surroundings allow the Giza cotton to be one of the best in the world. These cottons represent only 3% of the world’s annual cotton production, and the fact that they are hand-picked by hand due to their fine nature, only adds to the preciousness of the Egyptian cotton crops.
This is colloquially known as the ‘Queen’ of Egyptian cotton, as it has the longest staple of Egyptian cotton (much like the Queen piece in chess). Its history dates back to as long as 1820. This precious cotton is only cultivated in a particular area (the East of Nile delta) and amounts to only 0.4% of annual Egyptian cotton yield. Shirts made from Giza 45 are extraordinarily soft and durable, and represent the best quality that Egypt has to offer.
A new variety imagined from crossbreeding the Giza 45 and 77, this has the highest degree of brightness amongst Egyptian cotton. The beauty of shirts made with Giza 87 is that with every wash, shirts get softer and the brightness of the shirt remains, like the first time you wore your shirt. Shirts made with Giza 87 are shiny, lightweight yet durable.
If there is one thing James Bond enjoyed apart from a stirred Martini or his SCABAL suit, it would be his underpants, made with Sea Island cotton. Every year, about 1.8% of 2 million bales of cotton are of ELS (extra-long staples) variety, like the Giza 45 and Giza 87. Out of this 1.8%, only 130 bales are Sea Island cotton. That makes it way, way lower than 0.001% of annual cotton yield. Sea Island cotton is so precious that every kilogram of production is inspected, and with every shirt, a special woven label is provided to guarantee its authenticity. It is the apex of cotton, and only grown on Barbados and Jamaica, where the tropical climates allow for the best qualities of Sea Island cotton. You can find these qualities from David John and Anderson (also known as DJA - a brand acquired by Albini Group in 1992) under our Thomas Mason Noble collection. Supremely silky to the touch and on your skin; a DJA Sea Island shirt is a shirt to behold, and a shirt connoisseur’s dream come true.
We hope these musings prove useful to your journey in pursuit of an excellent shirt. Drop us a text or a call if you wish to learn more about the different shirting fabrics we have to offer. Don’t be shy - pop by our stores to feel our different qualities for yourself if you haven’t yet!