5 Best Fabrics for Dress Shirts

Dress shirts can be a really fun project to sew, especially for those just getting into making more formal based clothing. There are plenty of fabrics available for different dress shirts. It might sound odd to want to hand make even formal clothing, but custom made dress shirts can be extremely expensive if purchased from a custom clothing shop. Even dress shirts off the rack can be pricey. Making dress shirts helps ensure a custom fit and takes a lot of the cost out of a tailored garment.

Best Fabric for Dress Shirts

Here are our fabric for dress shirts reviews

1. Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen

Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Blend Black 1

Kaufman Essex Linen Blend is a lightweight blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton. The fabric has a luxurious, soft feel. Cotton and linen are both great fabric as they are durable and are great for warmer weather. Linen has a classic and classy look, perfect for dress shirts.

  • Fabric has a full-bodied drape
  • Can be machine washed at home to make the fabric soft, or can be dry cleaned to keep the fabric’s original texture
  • This line comes in over fifty colors and patterns
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2. Stripe Herringbone Chambray Indigo

Stripe Herringbone Chambray Indigo

Cotton chambray fabric is usually soft and lightweight and this fabric is no exception. Cotton is a great fabric for making dress shirts. Cotton breathes, is durable, and is generally quite inexpensive to purchase. The fabric features woven dots throughout.

  • Perfect for making dress shirts, dresses, blouses, and skirts
  • 100% cotton
  • Easy to launder- machine wash and tumble dry on low heat
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3. Kaufman Carolina Gingham

Kaufman Carolina Gingham 2 Black

Gingham fabric is generally very versatile. This fabric is perfect for dress shirts, but it’s also great for projects like skirts, blouses, dresses, children’s apparel, curtains, tablecloths, or even for quilting. The fabric is lightweight and is 100% cotton.

  • Remember to order extra fabric for pattern matching
  • Easy to launder at home- machine wash on cold, and tumble dry on low heat
  • Comes in four different, larger sized checks
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4. Fabtrends Cotton Poplin Solid White

Fabtrends Cotton Poplin Solid White 1
This poplin fabric is 100% cotton and is very lightweight. The fabric has a crisp hand, which makes it classy and dressy. It is perfect for button down dress shirts. It can also be used for dresses, skirts, and other projects.

  • Machine wash with warm water and no bleach, hang to dry
  • Cotton is durable and breathes well
  • Budget friendly
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5. Linen Cotton Blend Yarndye Stripe

Linen Cotton Blend Yarndye Stripe Blue White

This very lightweight fabric is a blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton. It is a woven fabric and is perfect for many different apparel items including dress shirts. It’s also a great choice for blouses and skirts. The fabric has a full fold drape and features yarn dyed stripes.

  • Machine wash on cold and tumble dry on low heat
  • Linen and cotton are comfortable and classy and are perfect fabrics for warm weather
  • The line comes in four different patterns and color combinations
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Fabric for Dress Shirts Buying Guide

Making dress shirts can take some real time and effort, but they are definitely worth it. Wearing clothing that was measured to fit just right is an experience that many people won’t get to have and enjoy. Picking the fabric that suits you best and is best for your lifestyle is really going to help you enjoy wearing your own handmade dress shirts that much more.


You might not think that climate will play a role in deciding on what type of fabric to choose for dress shirts, but it definitely can. If you live in warm climates, choosing a fabric that doesn’t breathe or you’re going to swelter in is not going to be comfortable. Cottons and linens are great for warmer weather. Also, if you don’t like the feel of a stiffer fabric, choosing something soft and luxurious is going to be a better choice.


Ultimately, the choice of fabric is going to depend on personal preference and your own style. Color choice and pattern are totally going to depend on the wearer’s own likes and dislikes. The style of the dress shirt might also dictate the fabric required. There are elements of dress shirts that aren’t always easy, but don’t give up. There are great tutorials out there, as well as patterns that can really help you up your game. Wearing a shirt that fits perfectly and that you’ve customized from start to finish is an exciting experience.

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