Know your shirt fabrics: the cool feel of Seersucker.


Spring is finally around the corner and with it comes our look at the best garments and fabrics to enjoy it in our free time. One such fabric is definitely Seersucker, a cool, bright, fancy fabric, with characteristic crinkled effect and a soft light weave that offers a looser fit and as a result, increased air circulation. Used for trousers, shirts and jackets, this classic fabric with its New York style is easy to recognise on account of its puckered feel and the classic stripes or checks in white, blue and light blue.

Seersucker: history and characteristics

Seersucker, usually made in a fine cotton, linen or silk, was born in India and gets its name from the Hindi, Urdu and Persian terms “shir” and “shakar”, meaning milk and sugar, because this fabric combines a plain texture like milk with another, rougher texture like sugar. This fabric, originally made by alternating cotton with silk, once wet, would shrink unevenly due to the use of different materials. Today, Seersucker is created thanks to the different tensions used to fit the yarn on the loom or using washes that cause some parts of the fabric to shrink.

Seersucker was first imported to Europe in the 18th century by the famous East India Company. It was initially used to make work overalls in America, before being used by the wealthier classes and becoming a wardrobe essential for gentlemen all over the world. It is said that in 1903, US politician, Joseph Guerney Cannon went to President Rooseveltwearing a Seersucker suit in place of a dark dinner suit, justifying his choice by saying that it was “too hot that day”. The episode contributed to the popularity of this fabric even for official events and meetings, where it was also worn by important personages such as the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII. Seersucker was increasingly used through the 20th century, by students, university professors and young women, becoming a great contemporary fashion classic, both in its classic blue and white colourway and in its green, red, yellow, grey and beige variations.

Seersucker shirts.

Perfect for informal, sporty looks, Seersucker shirts have always had pride of place in spring/summer collections.  This particular fabric allows for different combinations of colours and materials. One such example is the shirt with bold and at the same time, elegant Fluo stripes.

Ideal for drinks before dinner or for a boat trip, the printed shirt with batik effect made in linen-cotton blend Seersucker, offers light weight and transparency for unique crisp, cool comfort. For lovers of the mandarin collar, the same type of fabric is available in tone-on-tone stripes, garment washed for an even more casual effect. Seersucker can also be used with indigo-dyed yarns, creating a totally sophisticated, exclusive washed and faded effect.

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