History of Polo Shirts and How its fabrics is made

A brief History of the Polo Shirt

In the beginning of the XX century, Men had to perform sports in button-up shirts and trousers.Tired of having to roll up his sleeves during tennis matches, a French tennis champion decided to take matters into his own hands and design the perfect tennis shirt.

how-are-polo-shirts-madeThe new tennis shirt would have short sleeves for major movement, a better performing fabric (more on that later), and a simplified collar that while more comfortable, still provided some sort of formality. The name of this entrepreneurial fashion designer? Rene Lacoste — that’s right — the very same man who founded the Lacoste brand. Baptised as “the Crocodile” by the American press due to his large nose, Lacoste embraced it and branded his new invention by stamping an image of the reptile on the garment.

From Tennis Shirt to Polo Shirt

American designer Ralph Lauren entered the fashion scene by producing leisurewear for rich people who wanted to be comfortable, but didn’t want to lose status by doing so. Lauren decided to call his new line Polo because according to him, it was the most elegant of all sports and it had a long history of being an activity for aristocrats. A bitter battle between the two brands started in the late 70’s and early 80’s to dominate the market when Lauren introduced his version of the tennis shirt dubbed “polo.”

While most consider Lacoste pieces to be of higher quality, the name “Polo Shirt” ultimately stuck over “Tennis Shirt.”

How are fabrics made?

For centuries, almost since the very beginning of civilisation, human beings have produced fabrics by two methods: either weaving or knitting.

polo-shirt-weaving-fabric-2Weaving

Is the process of interlacing long threads with one another to create a fabric. These threads are placed horizontally and vertically, almost like a checkerboard, to hold them together. Denim and cotton are always woven. Probably the place where a woven pattern can be best appreciated would be in a straw basket. Weaving can be really simple or very complex depending on the selected pattern.

Knitting

Chances are there is someone in your life that has picked up knitting as a hobby at some point in their lives. Unlike weaving where one interlaces different threads, in knitting one uses long needles to create stitches of a single yarn. The easiest way to recognise knitting is to look at the material very closely and if this one looks like different braids one right next to the other, then it is a knit.