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The Holy Grail of Cotton

Posted 28.08.15  - Craft

From typical mills, we are devoted to discovering new and indulgent rarities to use in our designs. This season we have something exceptional in store; having quite literally crossed the globe to find the world's highest quality cotton, we have collated what we're calling The Luxury Shirt Collection.

Made up of West Indian Sea Island, Sea Island Quality, Cashmerello and 2-Fold 200 cottons, this premium portfolio boast softness beyond compare. Read on to discover the details behind each one.

“We work with experienced growers, the Albini group, who share the T&A philosophy by using premium raw ingredients and innovative cultivation techniques to ensure each shirt is exquisite in condition.”

A true shirting connoisseur will appreciate the softness and scarcity of West Indian Sea Island. Known as 'glossypium barbadense', this ancient fibre is now grown mainly in the paradise climates of Barbados, Antigua and Jamaica.

Its inherent long staple yarns create a silky yet strong surface, resisting wear while smoothing over time; the result is a delicate, second skin-like cotton that feels reborn with every wash. As the rarest cotton in the world it makes up just 0.0004% of global longer staple yarn production - meaning each precious piece is sartorial gold dust. Therefore we are delighted to be featuring the elusive fabric on our ready-to-wear shirts for the first time this season.

We work with experienced growers, the Albini group, who share the T&A philosophy by using premium raw ingredients and innovative cultivation techniques to ensure each shirt is exquisite in condition.

While demand for the West Indian Sea Island cotton is high, its ultra-rare nature means it is difficult to come by. Therefore many mills have mimicked the material’s attributes by creating Sea Island Quality fabric.

Made from highest grade of Egyptian cotton, the staple fibre is slightly shorter than its West Indian counterpart but achieves the same feel by increasing the yarn counts over standard qualities - in our case, a deluxe 2-fold 140 structure. T&A customers have been enjoying these supremely soft yet readily available compositions for years. As its name suggests, a 2-fold 200 cotton uses two thin ends of yarn twisted together and a strong 200 hank yarn count.

The texture is superfine without embodying the transparent nature that’s more apparent in single-fold counts; the difference is most obvious when woven into a solid white shirt. The material's delicacy gives it superior breathability, making it an ideal choice for those who frequent warmer climates.

For cooler winter weather, our last option is our cosiest. Made from a deluxe blend of 85% premium Swiss cotton and 15% cashmere, a supple Cashmerello shirt is both breathable and warm, without carrying the weight of conventional brushed flannel.

T&A Editorial Team

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