Oxford fabric is very popular due to its characteristics and multipurpose use. It is particularly used for making casual or sporty cotton shirts, pants, and other casual-to-formal garments. This HomeQuicks article outlines the characteristics and uses of the Oxford fabric.
Oxford fabrics are often used with an additional coating. One such coating is polyurethane, which provides water and wind-resisting properties as well as prevents accumulation of dirt between fibers, while the other, i.e., polyvinyl chloride coating provides complete water resistance.
The Oxford fabric or cloth was one of four modernest fabrics named after the most popular universities, viz., Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, and Harvard in a Scottish fabric mill in the 19th century. This fabric features a basket weave structure made by weaving multiple yarns together by passing them over one another in vertical and horizontal directions. Thin yarns are woven over a thicker filler yarn. While making colored and patterned Oxford shirts, the threads passing in one direction are dyed, while the others are left in white. This creates a slightly thicker cloth with a fine texture and gives the fabric a unique checkerboard appearance. Though it is a little coarse, it is quite comfortable to wear. The fabric is mainly used for making cotton dress shirts for both casual and formal occasions due to its versatility. Besides that, it also has many other applications.
Initially, Oxford cloth was made with pure cotton, but many of them are now made by incorporating synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon. It is a fabric that needs less care than most other fabrics. It can easily be put for wash and stays in shape better, compared to most other fabrics. Oxford fabrics are very affordable due to the yarn used for weaving, and are comfy too.
● The Oxford fabric has great insulating properties. It can trap in a lot of air depending on its thickness and keeps one warm. Hence, it can be a great choice for winter.
● Oxford fabrics have fine textures and are slightly heavy in weight.
● Their basket type of weaving gives the fabric durable and breathable properties.
● These fabrics age well and get softer with each use.
● They are also naturally resistant to wrinkles.
● Oxford fabrics dry easily after washing.
● They have good resistance to abrasion and chemical agents.
● They are machine-washable, easy to maintain, and tend to retain their shape. They require little to no ironing after going through the washing process.
Pinpoint Oxford is created out of a finer yarn and tighter basket weave, thus giving it a softer and smoother texture than a typical Oxford cloth. It has a little shine, but not as that of Royal Oxford. The yarns that it is made of are of lighter weight and less thicker than that of a regular Oxford cloth, but more than that of the Royal Oxford. It is very suitable for someone who wants a polished look, and is also good for casual occasions. However, one should be a little careful with sharp edges when wearing clothes made out of pinpoint fabric as it is soft and can, therefore, give way easily.
Royal Oxford is very different from Pinpoint Oxford. It has a typical shine and texture, and is the most sveltest of the Oxford weaves. It is created out of extremely fine and light threads, resulting in a smoother, shinier, and finer fabric than regular Oxford and pinpoint Oxford fabrics. It has a more prominent and elaborate weave than pinpoint or regular Oxford, which results in a more significant texture and makes the yarns sparkle. Royal Oxford is very suitable for dressy occasions.
● The basket weave structure of the Oxford creates a sturdy and comfy fabric.
● Typical Oxford fabrics have lesser shine and silkiness than other cotton fabrics, which makes them suitable for producing dress shirts, button-down shirts, pants, and other formal and casual wears.
● Oxford fabrics have begun to make their move into home décor fabrics as well. They are ideal to use for window treatments, duvet covers, pillow shams, wall hangings, and coverings.
● They can also be used for making bags, backpacks, suitcases, tents, tourism equipment, hunting and fishing equipment, tables, chairs, sleeping bags, and different kinds of cases.
● They are also used in the construction of screen panels to fit over a wooden frame.
● Oxford fabric can either be in cotton or synthetic material, so one needs to be a little careful before washing it. Synthetic fabrics should be washed and dried at medium or low heat, but not ironed, while cotton fibers can be ironed, washed, and dried at high temperatures, as cotton is able to take more abuse than synthetic materials. It will also become softer with repeated use.
● Do not use bleach while washing this fabric.
Now that we have deciphered the many plus points of this fabric, it is no wonder that Oxford shirts were worn by Polo players before Mr. Rene Lacoste invented polo shirts in the 1930s.