Men’s dress shirt manufacturing is a world to discover: an universe full of different methods and procedures, from tailoring to industrial manufacturing, two processes that are similar and sometimes even use the same approaches. As in the case of turning the shirt collar around, which is a delicate step in the shirt manufacturing process, and therefore still needs to be carried out by hand. Tailored shirts are created by a tailors, who start the costruction of a garment by taking the customer’s measurements.
As true craftsmans, tailors carefully follows the traditional methods of men’s dress shirt manufacturing, first cutting the several pieces that will create the garment, pinning them together, in order to then move on to the next stage: sewing the yoke, reinforcing the back and then attaching the front pieces at the shoulders. Tailored shirts are usually topstitched, sometimes even by hand. The manufacturing process goes on with the closure of the side seems and constructing the buttoned placket and sleeves, then hem gussets are applied and the hem is sewn Finally, the collar and cuffs are created, using buckram to make them stiff and then attached to the shirt. After cutting the excess threads, the shirt is finished by sewing the buttonholes and bottons.
Industrial men’s dress shirt manufacturing is actually quite similar, only carried out in large quantities: After a machine has cut the fabric, the shirt is sewn following the same order as a tailor does, then a machine sews the buttons and inserts a label. During the manufacturing process, a shirt is ironed several times and one last time just before folding the shirt. In the shirt industry the folding process is semi-automatic and a piece of cardboard is added to maintain its form. In the end the shirt is carefully packed in a complex packaging, in order to protect the shirt for transporting.
The differences between tailored and industrial dress shirts not only can be seen in some of the manufacturing methods, but also in the use of fabric: to sew a shirt with traditional tailoring methods, three meters of fabric is needed, while for industrial shirts only 2,5 meters is enough.