Anyone, when hearing words such as merino and cashmere knows that they refer to fine wools. Few people have ever heard words like Giza, Pima, Supima, Sea Island, and even fewer know they are about cotton. Even fewer, when purchasing a T-Shirt or a Polo, wonder what is the variety and origin of the cotton it is made of. Yet the choice of raw material is crucial for the wearability, pleasantness and elegance of even a simple item of clothing such as a T-Shirt.
The T-Shirt is perhaps the most essential item of clothing in a wardrobe, but wearing it you can express great elegance and personality.
Who doesn't remember the dark and minimalist t-shirts worn almost like a flag by some of the most famous designers and influential personalities of the contemporary world?
An appropriate T-Shirt in materials and cut is able to make a bit more elegant a casual outfit or can give an informal touch under tailored jackets or with elegant trousers.
A T-Shirt is a special garment to be chosen with great attention to materials, tailoring, finishes and details.
What are the best materials to make the perfect T-shirt?
Girelli Bruni manufactures clothing in various types of fine fabrics, but cotton is the material that we prefer and that we know how to work best, transforming it into garments that you can not do without once you have experienced the pleasure of wearing them.
To make T-shirts, henley, polo shirts to fall in love with as soon as you wear them, not all cottons are the same. "100% cotton" written on the tag do not provide any element to understand the quality of the material.
A fine champagne and a sparkling wine on sale for a few euros at the supermarket are both made with grapes, but just a sip and you will understand that they are very different wines. There are many factors that determine the quality of a fine wine. The word “terroir” indicates that special chemistry that includes grape varieties, area of production, techniques and experience of the winemaker.
AIn the same way the quality of a cotton fabric depends on the varietal of plant from which it is obtained, on the area where it is grown, and of course on how the raw material is processed by man.
Therefore, two T-Shirts, both made of cotton, can be extremely different. All you have to do is touch and wear one of our garments to immediately understand the difference between a fine cotton and an ordinary one.
Be curious, do your researches, ask your boutique, trust a brand that knows how to be care to every aspect of quality.
How can I distinguish high quality cotton from ordinary one?
What determines the quality of a cotton is first and foremost the length of the staple.
Cotton is a shrub whose seeds are wrapped in a ball made up of countless ruffled filaments of vegetable fibre. These balls are collected and then carded and spun with a process similar to that used for wool. Raw cotton filaments are twisted together to create a continuous yarn.
The longer the single staple of which the cotton ball is composed, the more fibres will twist together for a greater extension, thus leaving a smaller number of free ends in the yarn that will result from the spinning.
The quality of cotton is divided according to the length of the staples, starting with short staple cottons (less than 2.5 cm), medium staple (about 3 cm) and then get to the excellence of long and extra long staple (more than 3.5 cm). A long-staple cotton fabric will be smoother, cleaner, with a special shine and brilliance, pleasantly soft and fresh to the touch, less prone to pilling, resistant to rubbing and long-lasting.
For exactly opposite reasons, the shorter the cotton staple, the greater the number of free ends of individual filaments that will protrude from the yarn to which they are twisted. The fabric made of short-staple cotton will therefore be covered with a sort of down consisting of all the protruding ends of the individual staples. It will be less pleasant to the touch, covered with unsightly pellets where the fabric is subject to rubbing, over time it will tend to thin and tear. 90% of the world's cotton production is made up of short-staple varieties that grow faster and are less demanding in terms of environmental conditions.
Another fundamental characteristic for determining the quality of a cotton is the fineness of the fibre of which it is composed. The fineness of a cotton staple is expressed by a number. The higher this number, the thinner the fibre is and the higher its quality.
A very thin staple allows to make yarns that are thinner but with the same strength, which, when processed on the loom, will produce very dense fabrics. A square centimetre of fabric made with a thin yarn will have many more weaves than the same surface made with a thicker yarn.
The result will be a more compact, uniform and smooth fabric, less subject to wear, stretches, tearing. The seams on such a compact weave will be stronger, more stable and longer lasting.
The twisting process to which the staples are subject in order to make the cotton yarn produces tensions that make it unstable. The fibre, in fact, by its nature, tries to return to the initial state it had before it was spun. If the tensions of the yarn begin to release, the fabric may tend to "turn". It may happen, for example, that a T-Shirt warps after a few washes, the seams do not remain straight, altering the overall symmetry.
To overcome this defect, it is possible to make a yarn by coupling two yarns spun in opposite directions. It is a double-ply yarn. In a two-ply yarn, the tensions due to the twisting of the fibres are counterbalanced and the fabric is more stable, without deformation, with seams that remain straight over time, even after repeated washing.
It is possible to make a double ply yarn only with staples that, besides being long and resistant, are also very thin.
How can I know what type of cotton a T-shirt or polo is made of?
If you are not an expert or do not have the time to search for fine fabrics, you can choose the garments of producers who only work with high quality raw materials, just like Girelli Bruni, where we make the T-Shirts that we ourselves want to have the pleasure of wearing every day.
Girelli Bruni chooses only the best cottons in the world, with an obsessive selection process that starts from the raw material and follows it in every step until the completion of the finished product.
Commercial cotton is divided into two main varieties: gossypium hirsutum and gossypium barbadense. From the former, derives the short staple strains that provide more than 90% of the world production of cotton. From the latter, instead, derive the long-staple and extra-long-staple varieties from which the finest cottons are obtained. In addition to its length, the cotton fibre of the Barbadense varieties is characterised by remarkable fineness, resistance and a shiny and silky texture. It represents a very small percentage of the global production and finds its ideal environment only in a few areas of the world with high temperatures and at the same time abundance of water.
Giza cotton represents a small percentage of the production of Egypt, one of the world's largest producers. Its origin dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century when cotton seeds of the variety Gossypium Barbadense (Sea Island) were introduced into Egypt by the Ottoman governor Muhammed Ali Pasha. After several attempts, in a small region of the Nile delta, the plant found ideal conditions of temperature, humidity and fertility to produce a fiber with extraordinary qualities. Giza cotton, especially in the finest varieties, is considered among the best fabrics in the world, characterised by a staple of exceptional length, fineness, uniformity and strength. Today it is still harvested by hand to reduce even the smallest damage to the fibres.
This precious cotton is named after a tribe of Native Americans who were the first to introduce the cultivation and processing of the Barbadense cotton variety in the southwest of the United States. Pima cotton is now grown in South America, mainly in Peru, the United States and Australia, in a few selected areas where it is possible to obtain an extra-long staple, over 3.8 centimeters with extraordinary finesse, strength and silkiness.
This is a Pima cotton variety produced exclusively in the United States by a consortium of companies that are subject to very strict quality regulations. The word comes from the fusion of the terms "Superior" and "Pima". Supima cotton has an extra-long staple (around 3.8 centimeters), and is incredibly durable and at the same time smooth and soft.
The term Sea Island refers to the cotton produced by the Barbadense varieties grown in the Caribbean islands (originally West Indies): Barbados, Antigua, Antilles, Jamaica. Thanks to the high temperatures and the abundant and regular rains, the cotton grown here develops exceptional characteristics. In particular conditions, Sea Island cotton fibre can reach 6 centimetres in length, coupled with extraordinary finesse, uniformity, resistance and shine. Production is extremely limited.
Once the cotton yarn is made, it is passed through modern industrial looms (circular weaving machines) for the production of the fabric. Depending on how the yarns are woven and combined, different types of fabric can be obtained. Girelli Bruni T-shirts, sweaters, shirts and polo shirts are made from various types of cotton fabric.
The simplest and most versatile cotton fabric, soft, elastic, smooth and pleasant to the touch. It is the ideal fabric for making T-Shirts, polo shirts and henleys thanks to its lightness, elasticity and freshness.
IThe cotton thread is woven by combining together several yarns to create a weave that reminds of a series of tiny honeycombs. The fabric is more consistent, pleasantly rough and warm to the touch. Piquet is the ideal fabric for making polo shirts.
It represents the finest cotton fabrics, the flagship of Girelli Bruni.
During the spinning process the cotton staple is twisted and released quickly, so as to obtain tiny zigzag knurls in the filaments. The cloth woven with this yarn is particularly light, with a sensual satin dryness. To the touch it gives a surprising sensation of freshness. Once you wear it, it will pleasantly envelops the body creating soft, elegant drapes without wrinkling.
Cotton grows only in tropical and subtropical regions, between the 37th parallel north and the 30th parallel south. The cultivation of the raw material is therefore the only stage of processing of Girelli Bruni garments that cannot be carried out in Italy. For all the rest, however, the production takes place in Veneto, within a radius of no more than one hundred kilometers from Verona, the company's headquarters. This allows us to constantly follow, with the meticulous accuracy that distinguishes us, every single phase of production: spinning, weaving, dyeing, cutting, tailoring.
The construction of our t-shirts and polo shirts is completely tailored made, starting from the different geometries between the front and the back, which ensure impeccable fit, designed to perfectly adapt to the lines and proportions of the body.
The sleeves are made with an asymmetrical construction to better follow the rotation of the arm, so as to ensure perfect comfort and elegance. The dyeing is reactive, a technique that, coupled with the quality of the fibres, ensures that pigments penetrate and are fixed in depth, always remaining intense and uniform even after repeated washing. These are just a few examples of the care we take in the creation of our garments. But in reality there are other countless details. They are the result of experience and the continuous desire to improve, and make our garments so special. From the choice of the material of buttons to the type of stitching that ensures resistance and flexibility to collars and cuffs. Perhaps we have not reached yet perfection, but we work every day trying to get closer.