W.H. Taylor Shirtmakers – frequently asked questions

Buying a new shirt should be a carefully considered process. So, here’s the answers to some of our frequently asked questions.

Why are our shirts special?

All WH Taylor luxury shirts are handmade and constructed to the highest standards and contain many special features. These features include fabric designs that are matched exactly at all points to provide flowing seamless lines. The removable collar stiffeners keep your collar flat and smooth, whilst the two piece yolk comes together at an angle to create perfectly smooth lines across your shoulders. The two piece (non-fused) collar is cut so it allows the joining edge between the band and the top elliptical to provide a ‘spring’ when sewn together, which gives the collar a natural tendency to turn and stay down. Only the finest two fold cotton poplin fabrics are used in our shirts. Our shirts are constructed using fine stitching, which achieves strong and elegant seams. To provide extra luxury single needle stitching is used, albeit costly, it produces a very fine but strong seam. The gauntlet consists of two pieces of fabric that prevents gaping therefore removing the use of a small button in the gauntlet, which would be a cheaper option. The cuffs are rounded to prevent catching on the edge of your jacket. To provide movement across your hips the lowest button hole is stitched horizontal. All buttons are sewn using crossed lockstitches, which prevents them from becoming loose. A butterfly gusset on our regular fit shirts provides added strength and contours the back tail of the shirt.

What happens if my bespoke shirt doesn’t fit properly?

First step, don’t panic! We know that mistakes can happen sometimes with measurements. So, we’ll always accommodate shirt alterations. We want you to enjoy our shirts after all.

What are the difference in buttons?

Troca, MOP, Akoya and many others are all mother of pearl shells. Many years ago certain shells became known as MOP and that only refers to those particular shells whilst the words mother of pearl or nacreous refer to the effect on many different types of shell.

Troca is a common in trade button when shirtmakers use of the term MOP buttons.

Iridescent MOP are used for production of cultured pearls. These are considered the Rolls Royce of buttons as they have a superior iridescent look throughout and are usually only found in the very high-end shirtmakers.

What is a ‘placket’?

A dress shirt front placket is the most common dress shirt front style and is standard for our shirts.

The fabric is folded back over and sewn with a fused interlining to give it a crisp and dressy appeal. It rarely fails to make the right impression as a business shirt.

The Plain (or French) front is a popular placket style that features no fold back. It has a cleaner appear to it although it can be slightly harder to iron. It works well with business and casual shirts.

The Concealed or ‘Fly Front’ placket is a more formal style with an extra piece that covers up the buttons on the front of the shirt. Commonly used for tuxedo shirts, it certainly provided a very dressed-up appearance.

Are your shirts handmade?

All our shirts are workroom made using the same single needle sewing machines that we have always used. The shirts are also finished by hand. For our ladies’ shirts, the sewing types will vary according to the design.

What type of cotton do you use for your shirts?

We get our cloth from well-respected British shirting mills that specialise in bold patterns and weaves, whilst having a deep collection of basic and staple designs.

Most of our shirts are made from two-fold 100% cotton poplin with 100’s (standard 105 grams/m2) and 140-200’s (superfine 100 grams/m2) thread count.

Poplin – the ‘stock in trade’ of quality British shirt-making. Poplin has a smooth finished weave that is both comfortable and durable. The weave tends to give the surface colours prominence making it great for sharp checks, stripes and end on ends.

Two-fold – mainly relates to Poplin where two yarns are twisted (folded) together to give added durability. A single piece of string can be broken but two twisted together can’t.

End on end – a weave where the warp yarn is one colour and the weft another. When a colour is mixed with white the effect is of a subtle plain colour. When two different colours are mixed a strong vibrant plain colour is produced.

Herringbone – a twill weave normally made using a softer yarn that runs in lines of opposing direction giving a zigzag effect. Reputedly named because it resembles the varying diagonals of a fish’s backbone.

Oxford – a plain, relatively open weave which is semi-formal. This is a slightly thicker fabric than poplin.

How should I care for a W.H. Taylor shirt?

Always remove the collar stiffeners before washing at no higher than 40 degrees Celsius. Our shirts can be spun or rung dry, but not tumble-dried.

It is better to iron your shirt whilst it’s slightly damp to make it easier. Moisten with a water spray if the shirt is already dry.

Don’t starch the collars or cuffs as this will reduce the lifespan of the shirt. Don’t forget to replace the collar stiffeners to keep your shirt looking great.

Will my new shirt shrink?

All our fabrics are pre-shrunk. We allow approximately one centimetre extra in the collar and sleeves for further settling of the fabric that might occur.

Can I have a monogram on my shirt?

We use a specialist company for any monogram requirements. Please contact us with your needs before ordering your shirt, and we can send you a quote and further details.

What tolerances do your shirts have?

Our shirts are made to order so the measurements are adjusted according to the fit selected by you and within accepted tolerance ranges. We do add an allowance of one centimetre to adjust for the shrinkage that may occur on washing, although our fabrics are pre-shrunk.

In some cases, visible chalk marks or marks from ironing might be left on the shirt which usually disappear without the need for extra treatment during the first wash.

Shirts made from different rolls of fabric may differ slightly in shade of colour due to normal variations that occur during the dying process.

What’s the best knot for a tie?

A ‘4 in hand’ knot is recommended for our tailored shirts as this knot can be used with Classic, Button Down and Cutaway collars to give a professional and sophisticated look.

The ‘Full Windsor’ knot is recommended for a Cutaway collar.

The ‘Half Windsor’ knot can be used with the Classic or Button-Down collar but is best suited to the Cutaway Collar.

You can read more about necktie knots on our blog here.

Why are your ties so special?

All our ties are made from 100% pure silk woven in England.

The quality of the silk is exceptional, and unlike many of the woven silks from Italy it’s not weighted down with metal to give the impression that it’s heavier than it actually is.

We hand make every tie in England.