Since the launch of our business, we made sure to put our values as essential guidelines to establish our position in the market as a brand that speaks quality and gives our customers the best there is. Our first and most important value was to have premium quality shirts.
So, How do we do it?
1- Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton "is" the world's finest cotton. Actually, Egypt falls third in worldwide production of large staple cotton and fifth for the production of extra-long staple cotton. Staple refers to the fibre length, in this case, we refer to cotton, which is a soft, fluffy, ball-shaped fibre made of cellulose that protects the seeds of the plant.
But, what’s the importance of the cotton’s length?
First of all, cotton plants are handpicked in Egypt so that the fibre doesn’t fall apart because of its softness and fragility, and not to affect the length of the staple when making the fabric. Then, the use of extra-long staple cotton makes the spinning process easier and gives us smoother and stronger yarn than using short-staple cotton which could give us weak yarn that’s full of breakages.
And so, the Egyptian fabric is known for its softness and comfort as for being the best type of cotton for summer heat. Also, it’s best for those who might have skin allergies for some aesthetic fibres.
Finally, thanks to the GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Arabia), trades of national productions between Lebanon and Egypt became easier through the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, & Agriculture of Arab Countries. We benefit from this union when we have our shirts purchased.
"Our T-shirts are 180 g/m2 of Cotton. As for the Hoodie, it’s made of 300g/m2 of Poly-cotton"
2- Plain Fabric & Colorful Design
There are many types of fabrics that vary according to the type of fibres manufactured, such as: Cotton, Linen, Silk, Wool, Velvet, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic and Lycra. After the manufacturing of these fabrics, comes the next step to obtain coloured textiles. This is done by dyeing, which is made by covering the fibres woven in the cloth with a distinctive colour.
Each type of fabric has its type of dyeing:
Acid dye is used because of a certain type of textile with a low ph. Acid dyes are generally divided into three classes that depend on: fastness requirements, level-dyeing properties, and economy. The process of dyeing is done through a chemical reaction between the organic acid and the fibre’s protein. This type of dye is mostly used for silk and wool fabrics.
Basic dyes are water-soluble cationic dyes that are mainly applied to leather, cellulose and animal fibres. Usually, acetic acid is added to the dye bath to help the uptake of the dye onto the fibre.
Sulfur dyes are inexpensive dyes used to dye cotton with dark colours. This type of dyeing is affected by heating the fabric in a solution of an organic compound. The organic compound reacts with the sulfide source to form dark colours that adhere to the fabric.
Direct or Substantive dyeing, is normally carried out in a neutral or slightly alkaline dye bath, at a boiling point, with the addition of some sodium mixtures. Direct dyes are used on cotton, wool, silk, nylon and blended fabrics.
As for our fabric, Extra-long staple cotton has a big ability to absorb liquids which allows it to have a deeper, brighter colour after dyeing. We've been using plain coloured shirts: Black, White, Grey and Navy to give more importance to the design which will be silkscreen-printed on the shirt at a later stage. Also, one of the reasons why we only use plain colored shirts is because we sell our products online, so non-basic colors might look slightly different on different screens. But that doesn’t mean that we may never use coloured shirts, as we’re always up to date with the new fashion trends each season, and we could have more diverse products in our upcoming collections.
3- Premium manufacturing
To know how a T-shirt is made, let’s know first when they were invented.
T-shirts were made as underwear for the upper body, with or without buttons, in the beginning of the 19th century to replace the old one-piece underwear. Between 1898 and 1913, T-shirts became a crew-necked, short-sleeved, white cotton undershirt to be worn under a uniform for the navy as it can be worn without the uniform jacket in the tropical climates. They soon became popular as a bottom layer of clothing for workers in various industries, including agriculture.
The T-shirt was easily fitted, easily cleaned, and inexpensive, and for those reasons, it became the shirt of choice for young boys. The shirts became even more popular in the 1950s after Marlon Brando wore one in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, finally achieving status as a fashionable, stand-alone, outerwear garment.
Printed shirts first appeared in 1942, but then gained a major popularity in the 1960s for self-expression as well as for advertisements, protests, and souvenirs. Currently, T-shirts are made in many versions and different fabrics as for crew neck or V-neck shirts. T-shirts became a worldwide production by all popular labels, each manufactured in a different way.
The process of manufacturing a T-shirt is very complex regarding the results we get, because this process defines the premium quality of the final product.
The steps to make a T-shirt are:
Styling: Defining the style (sleeve length/neck) and dimensions of the T-shirt to choose the right patterns.
Cutting: The pieces consist of a tubed body, or separate front and back sections, sleeves, perhaps pockets, and trim.
Assembling: Assembling the front and back, and assembling the sleeves.
Stitching: Stitching the hem, stitching the shoulder seams.
Attaching the neckband
Finishing the neckline
Label setting: Labels attached to the back of the neckline
Optional features (Adding pockets)
T-shirts are inspected for flaws in the fabric, stitching, and thread.
High-quality T-shirts may be pressed through steam tunnels before they are packaged.
V-necks require the extra step of either lapping or mitering the neckband. In the former process, one side is folded over the other. A mitered seam is more complex, it requires an operator to overlap the band accurately and stitch the band at centre front.
So, we must choose the dimensions and patterns of the shirt that are defined by specific size charts. These charts are determined through the length, width, chest and waist measurements.
But there will still be named types of fits: Casual fit, Athletic fit, Semi-Casual fit, Regular fit and Round fit.
4- H-shirt’s experience
All in all, after talking about the process to have a premium quality shirt, we share what we’ve learned from our experience throughout the years. Even though we’ve only been around for three years, but we’ve learned so much in this journey.
When we first started this business, we searched for local T-shirt manufacturers but the quality wasn’t good enough, so we had to seek ones outside Lebanon. After thorough research, we were to pick either Turkey or Egypt. But we found that Egyptian shirts are the best for our project, and there we found help in ordering what we wanted for the manufacturing of our product. So we got our Summer 2016 collection, and in it, we made three different cuts:
H-shirt developed the Hijabi cut for special customers because we found a lack of its existence in the Arab market.
We made our first Hijabi shirt by defining a new pattern to the manufacturer. Our purpose was to make a shirt that can meet the need of girls wearing hijabs and give them a chance to express themselves with premium quality.
Still, we had a few problems in the size charts we chose since we found that Lebanese people prefer baggy clothes. So we made sure that our next collection would have a bit bigger sizes in width.
As for the labelling, we didn’t use the traditional label because lots of people suffer from it, we used ticket transfer, which is printing the label on the inside of the shirt instead of putting an extra fabric for the label. It has the size, the washing instructions and our website. We also have a sewed label on the down-left side of the shirt with our slogan “express yourself” written on the inside.
Finally, we put tags on all of our products after we print the designs, so our customers know more about H-shirt. It’s made of two cards: one that has the design’s name, the designer’s name on the front, and the washing instructions on the back. the other has our story and our logo. Both are pinned to the inside right shoulder of the shirt in a way that doesn’t affect the fabric.
From our customers’ feedback, we found a consistency of satisfaction with their purchase concerning quality on all levels.
We, at H-shirt, seek development by working in collaboration with other brands that share the same values of quality and perfection.