Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE" where we take a look into the inspiration behind some of our favorite Engineered Garments pieces. In this installation, we are featuring the "19 Century BD Shirt", a staple of the Engineered Garments catalog.
A core of the Engineered Garments repertoire, the 19 Century BD Shirt is packed with detail, owing to Engineered Garments designer’s Daiki Suzuki’s relentless commitment to detail - referred to in Japanese as “kodawari”.
The story of the 19 Century BD Shirt begins with a gift Daiki received from a friend of his, a dealer who specializes in vintage and antique shirts. The gift was an authentic banded collar shirt with a detachable collar from the 1890’s, hence the name, “19 Century BD Shirt”.
In contrast to the inexpensive, mass-produced shirts of the modern-era, Daiki was inspired by the painstakingly traditional and authentic fabrication methods of the 1800’s, starting with what may be the most important feature of the shirt - single needle tailoring.
Most shirts on the market today are made using double needle technology: a method which uses a double needle machine and chain stitching. This allows for faster production times and lower cost, but it also creates rough seams on the inside of the shirt where the thread forms a loop, and if one joint of the chain stitch breaks, the entire seam will come apart.
In contrast, single needle tailoring uses just one needle for the entire garment. This results in one row of stitches on the outside of the shirt, and two rows of stitching on the inside of the shirt, forming a clean, neat and durable seam. In exchange, this technique is more costly and requires more time to complete a single shirt.
Another point of detail is the gusset. Occasionally found on longer dress shirts like the 19 Century BD Shirt, it is a small triangular piece of fabric at the base of the side seam of the shirt. Strategically placed to strengthen the stress point, this functional detail is often left out of current dress shirts.
Daiki also enjoys recreating the innovative solutions to problems that manufacturers faced during the 19th century. Fabric rolls during the late 1800’s were much narrower than they are today. This meant that they were unable to cut the proper width for the base of the dress shirt sleeve - forcing an extra gusset to be placed on the sleeve. This extra piece of cloth was cut separately, then sewn into the shirt to create the necessary width, giving the 19 Century BD Shirt a piece of functional charm.
From the gathered cuff sleeve - the slight ruffling of fabric at the base of the cuff - to the button down collar, there is always something new to discover in this shirt. Offered in a wide variety of fabrics, customers won’t want to miss the opportunity to take home a piece of pure Engineered Garments style.
The 19 Century BD Shirt is available the following colorways:
BLUE COTTON CHAMBRAY
WHITE COTTON OXFORD
BLACK 100'S 2PLY BROADCLOTHWHITE 100'S 2PLY BROADCLOTH
BROWN COTTON VARIEGATED STRIPE
MULTI COLOR COTTON FLORAL PATCHWORK
NATURAL COTTON LAWN PEACOCK PRINT
NAVY COTTON LAWN BATIK STRIPE
ORANGE COTTON LAWN BATIK STRIPE
BLUE WHITE CANDY STRIPE BROADCLOTH
NAVY COTTON POLKA DOT SATEEN
The 19 Century BD Shirt is available for purchase in-store and online.