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Fabric Guide

All our cotton is produced using the Best Cotton Initiative. 

Emma Willis sources their cotton from Swiss Mill Alumo, set in the Appenzel mountains of Switzerland.  Alumo use Egyptian GIZA 45 and Pima extra long-staple raw Cotton. Alumo only use two-ply yarns from 80/2 to 240/2 fold, often other mills use single yarns to reduce the cost but this compromises the quality. With 100 years of craftsmanship each season they produce new cotton weaves.  The yarn is spun, twisted, dyed, woven and washed in their abundant, clear mountain water for a natural finish to produce the silk like handle.


A smooth and long lasting two fold 100’s Swiss poplin woven and yarn dyed using the finest Egyptian raw cotton. With a weight of 100 grams per square metre, a gram of this yearn measures 85 metres in length. The ideal cotton for your every day white work shirts as it will last longer than the very fine cottons, but still luxuriously soft.


Slightly finer than our Superior cotton this is the two fold 140’s Swiss poplin cotton using a slightly finer yarn spun from finest Egyptian raw cotton. The lighter weight will keep you a little cooler than superior and is even softer.


We are in to the most delectably fine and very luxurious cottons, a Swiss poplin woven using a two fold 170’s yarn creating a glassy finish and beautifully cool in hot weather. It is hard to turn back when you have started to wear this weight and finer!


This is a lovely combination where the Swiss mill are using a very fine 170’s yarn to weave the classic Twill design giving texture but keeping the silky finish.


The most beautifully soft, light, cool two fold 200’s Swiss poplin for those who cannot resist the very best. As it is expensive this can be a wonderful shirt to order in white which you can wear for important occasions,  black tie, as well as when you just want to feel and look divine! When it does wear the white shows fraying much less so hopefully you will have years of wear. A wonderful weight for a hot climate.


The white grain in this very attractive weave of poplin creates a slightly more relaxed appearance than the plain poplins, and the fine two fold 100’s yarn will feel smooth and light to wear. The navy Cristallo is my favourite smart/ casual shirt worn without a tie and button cuffs. 


Genio has become our most loved white and pastel plain shirt as the texture and sheen give so much interest worn without a tie and the  attractive pique weave keeps the collar standing beautiful structured when worn open, or closed. As all the Swiss cottons it is soft and cool to wear and for those wary of transparency in whites this is your dream shirt.


A glamorous version of the very down to earth classic Oxford, also known as Prince Oxford, this slightly more open weave with the luxurious sheen can be worn with or without a tie and has a relaxed elegance to it. The sky blue Castello is a beauty with tweeds and jeans.


This unpretentious most wholesome of old fashioned cottons is still loved today and our blue and pink gingham designs are the least creasing pure cottons I have ever used in 25 years of the shirt making business! We have added Ice Blue to the collection as this cleanest of pale blues looks beautiful in the simple weave of Swiss cotton.


This is the King of Oxfords, a fine 170’s yarn woven using the Oxford technique, with the attractive texture but falling and draping as softly as silk. The natural gloss due to the quality of the yarn and finishing methods make this the most lovely fabric.


There are many imitations of the infamous Sea Island Cotton out there but this is the authentic, inimitable real thing and you will be able to tell when you feel its silken touch but with weight. Grown in the ideal climate and conditions of the West Indies, like wine cotton depends on the soil and weather, and here they cultivate their prized cotton with hundreds years of passed down experience and care. The special thing about real Sea Island cotton is the weight, two fold 140’s so not the finest, but the silkiest of touches due to the quality of the raw cotton. therefore the whites and even better the undyed natural ivory Sea Island Cotton have body to them and are not in any way transparent, but how soft to wear. It deserves its reputation and i would choose white, ice blue and ivory for a dream shirt wardrobe.


Our most loved luxury winter and sporting shirt, this fine Swiss cotton yarn is woven with 15% of the cashmere yarn giving a smart casual appearance and the softest Autumn Winter shirt you could wear. The plain denim blue is my favourite Winter shirt and looks beautiful with tweed, denim, corduroy or can even be worn with a suit. And we love it even more as beauty is function and function us beauty and your cashmerellos shirt might feel ridiculously luxurious but they can be laundered normally in a 40 degrees wash and they are the easiest natural fabric shirt in the world to iron.


Emma has bought linen from many different mills over the years but has found what she thinks is the perfect Linen from Solbiati.  The flax is grown in France, and the plant has only a single stem of between 1 and 3 millimetres in diameter, and 80 to 100 leaves.  It grows quickly and it is arguably the most eco-friendly of all the plants that give us natural fibres.   The crops are sown from March to April, this time frame is essential to guarantee the best possible balance of crop field, lodging resistance and the fibre quality in terms of fineness and stability.  The stem reaches its maximum height after 100 days. Harvested plants are left on the surface of the soil to be macerated by the rain, thereby removing the woody elements of the plant and releasing the fibre.  Once macerated, and as soon as its moisture contents falls below 15%, the flax is gathered, compressed into big bales, and stored until the point at which the fibres are extracted.  The flax is then woven, dyed and finished in the North of Italy and our customers are loving it’s soft drape, beautiful hues of blue and natural white flecks in the cloth.  Linen often needs to be washed to soften but this you can wear straight away and it feels as if you have washed it a hundred times!


Our Autumn Winter Brush Cottons have become fundamental parts of so many of our customers wardrobes, the soft, brushed finish of the pure cotton giving a feeling of warmth and comfort. Each year we choose a wide palette of pale to deepest blues and wholesome checks which can be worn casually or open collar for less formal business looks. We hang our new collection every September in the Jermyn Set shop window to rend everyone of the weekend as work starts again at the end of the Summer! As they are pure cotton, except in very hot weather,  they can be worn throughout the year.






English Workrooms

Bearland House is an elegant 18th Century townhouse in the centre of historic Gloucester and home to the Emma Willis Factory. Here their luxury shirts, boxer shorts, pyjamas, dressing gowns and walking socks are made using traditional methods of cutting and sewing, making to the highest standards.

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