Delightfully durable and wonderfully tactile, twill is a cloth characterised by its herringbone, diagonal, drill and houndstooth weaves.

At Smyth & Gibson, twill has long been our go-to for essential shirting. Thanks to its hardy weave, this is a cloth that can be washed time and time again while maintaining its subtle lustre and elegant drape.

Historically, twill was the choice of cavalrymen, a time when it was made from a worsted spun wool warp with a woollen weft. Its sturdy and resilient composition made it ideal for riding pants, where riders’ legs are in constant contact with their horse and saddles. Today, cavalry twill is a popular choice for structured garments, not only in uniform ware but also in ready-to-wear garments.

Twill’s graceful drape is achieved through a special weaving technique in which the weft thread is passed over one or more warp threads then under two or more warp threads. A ‘step’ or ‘offset is then created between rows to make twill’s characteristic diagonal pattern. This complicated technique is what allows the fabric to drape so elegantly.



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