Fundamentals Of Dress Shirt Collars
A collar is made up of two pieces, the top and bottom. Between these two pieces is a sturdy interlining, which gives the collar its stiffness and strength. These two pieces are either fused or sewn together. Below, you can see the white interlining overlaying the shirt’s fabric for the collar before it’s fused or sewn together.
How our dress shirts are made:
Fused dress shirt collars
A fused collar means the interlining is heated and glued together through a fusing machine. A stiff, firm collar is favored with most dress shirts and the fused collar provides the best results, making it a popular choice. There used to be concerns with fused collars bubbling after some wear and tear, but this isn’t a problem if the shirt maker uses a high end machine like we do.
Sewn dress shirt collars
A collar that is sewn into the collar, non-fused, is hand stitched by a tailor, a very exact and detailed process. It’s the traditional way of doing things and available with bespoke or custom tailored dress shirts, which we also offer as an option. It will lend itself a less structured appearance and it’s softer in feel, much more comfortable than a fused collar. It’s also very durable and won’t suffer anytime soon from wear and tear. For a stiffer collar, some tailors can use a thicker interlining. Due to the skill required for a sewn collar, it does mark up the cost for a custom dress shirt.
So there’s really no significant advantage of either style. It basically comes down to what you prefer. The fused collar is popular for its firm, crisp collar, which is perfect for the work place or a wedding. It’s also easier for shirt makers to produce because it’s pressed through a machine. A hand tailored sewn collar definitely takes more time to put together and costs more, but has a softer collar that’s very durable. It also has a classic, traditional appeal to it.
Personally, I prefer the stiff, fused collar for my formal dress shirts and a sewn collar for something laid back, like a gingham shirt. Best of both worlds, I guess.
So what’s your preference? Fused or non-fused?