Fabrics

 

At Cast, we didn't just want the shirts to fit; we wanted them to look beautiful and feel good. We wanted fabrics that would cover up a bra and straps (what's the point of getting rid of The Gape if you can still see horrible lace through the fabric of your shirt?), we wanted thin stripes that elongated, silks that would stretch (not easy to find, but we did!), beautiful finishes like sateen weaves and pearly sheens, and a soft sensation against the skin.

Our first stop was Italy. We went to Biella, in the foothills of the Alps which has been producing wool and other fabrics since the Middle Ages. We pored over thousands of swatches until we found the fabrics we liked most.

I also wanted to make a shirt in Sea Island cotton because I'd once tried one on but of course it didn't fit, and since then I'd always longed for one that would. Now that I've made mine up, I wear it all the time, and now you can too. Sourced from the West Indies, Sea Island cotton is silkier and more lustrous than other cottons.

The biggest challenge was finding a stretch silk I liked. There is plenty of polyester satin around but I wanted the real thing. Just as I was considering either giving up or going to China - where all the best silks come from - I found exactly what I wanted just a few miles from my flat. Our silks are Chinese and stretch just the way we think you'll want them.