120003-310ProductCotton Poplin Striped Shirt
History Button-down collars
Button-down shirts were first known as ‘polo shirts’, marketed by an American East Coast clothing company from 1900 onwards. The name and style was inspired by an alteration made to shirts used by British polo players. To prevent the collar points from flapping in the rider’s face, buttons had been sewn on to secure them to the shirt.
At the time of the style’s introduction, shirts were generally collarless so that a separate, starched collar could be washed or replaced without unnecessary tear on the rest of the garment. The ready-made ‘polo shirts’ were made from soft Oxford cloth and featured an un-detachable, unlined collar that fastened with buttons at each tip. These more casual shirts became popular with college students and for use in casual sports.
In everyday speech, ‘poplin’ refers to a large group of plain-weave cotton shirting, ranging from fine and crisp to coarser and more heavyweight qualities. These are all even weaves made with single yarns of the same weight in both warp and weft – such as 40s/40s or 60s/60s, which are two common yarn counts.
Traditionally, however, poplin was characterised by a textured surface with a slight horizontal ribbing, a result of densely interlacing one coarser crosswise thread with two or more finer threads running from top to bottom. The name poplin comes from a 15th-century fabric, popeline, originally woven from silk and wool in the Catholic centre of Avignon in southern France.
Esquel is a textile and apparel manufacturer for some of the world’s leading brands, producing more than 100 million pieces per year. Based in Hong Kong, the company and its 57,000 employees work in a way that reduces their environmental impact, and contributes to the communities in which they operate. Their eco-wash process, in particular, reduces resource use and encourages lean production with less manual labour. The 40-year-old company has a complete supply chain that starts with growing its own extra-long staple cotton, and handles all stages of the process through to packaging. For ARKET, Esquel is crafting men’s and women’s shirts.