What Makes Goodwear Better?

What Makes Goodwear Better?

Posted by Peter Liquori on

In a world of fast fashion, where quality so often takes a backseat to quantity, we strive to make our clothes the right way, the hard way, and the way things used to be made. Through 100% American manufacturing and expert attention to detail, our shirts (and more) represent the epitome of quality craftsmanship. By utilizing a "yarn-forward" business model, our clothes are a cut above the rest, using custom knit fabrics and superior finishing to produce pieces with truly durable construction and a lifetime of wear.

 

What is "Yarn-Forward"?

At the heart of every Goodwear garment lies a carefully selected yarn, chosen for its quality and specific properties. Unlike most companies that order mass-produced fabrics, or simply the finished goods, we start with the yarn - predominantly of US-grown cotton. This both enhances our domestic presence, reduces our carbon footprint, and allows us to source the best of the best. We specify exactly how thick, how soft, and how our yarn is processed allowing us to knit our own proprietary fabrics for our entire line of products.

 

The Tubular Knit Body Advantage:

One of the distinguishing features of our shirts is their tubular knit body construction. Look through your collection of T-shirts and you'll likely notice a side seam on nearly all of them. Like Christmas cookies, two panels are cut from a roll of fabric and stitched together, creating excess waste and a shirt with scratchy side-seams that pull with use and eventually tear or ruin the overall shape of the shirt. We knit the bodies of our shirts using a tubular knitting machine (above), creating a literal tube of fabric at our specified body width. The roll is simply cut to size, and sleeves and collar attached, drastically reducing waste. Good for you, good for us, good for the planet. This technique not only enhances the shirt's comfort by eliminating the uncomfortable rubbing and chafing at the side-seams, but it also produces a better fitting piece with significantly more durability.

 

The 100% Cotton Rib Collar

The collar of a t-shirt is often a telltale sign of its quality, and ours is top-notch. Nearly all shirts use polyester to add stretch and softness to the collar. The problem (aside from microplastic producing polyester) is that polyester degrades relatively quickly after a few washes. The polyester threads begin to break, scratch your neck, and the collar loses its stretch and comfort. We use 100% cotton thread in a particular ribbed knit that allows the fabric to stretch naturally. For the life of the shirt, the collar will keep its shape and fit comfortably around the neck. It’s this kind of attention to detail we pride ourselves on - creating a product that’s both extra durable and extra comfortable.

 

Superior Stitching - The Twin Needle Coverstitch:

Without side seams, we can focus our attention on the most important seams - attaching the collar and/or cuffs, attaching the sleeves to the body, and hemming the bottom of the shirt. For each of these seams we use a twin-needle coverstitch. Using two needles and two threads (sometimes three) we created a much more durable connection between the two pieces of fabric. A seam that won’t stretch and break, using more thread for extra durability and hold.

 

Durability for Longevity: 

We recently received an email from a customer toting his 30+ year old Goodwear shirt (above). Aside from some inevitable fraying at the collar - the shirt had no holes, no busted seams, and a well earned patina. That’s what we strive for in every single piece we make - something that will one day become your old favorite. The shirt you put on first after every wash. The shirt your kids will steal. We don’t want you coming back in a year to buy a new shirt because yours fell apart, we want you to have these for decades. Through careful fabric selection and craftsmanship only gained from decades of production, our shirts exude durability. From the first wear to the thousandth (ten thousandth?) your shirt will maintain its color, shape, and integrity.

 

Our Made-in-USA Promise:

Beyond all else, we made a promise to remain 100% made in the USA from Day One. Every stitch, every cut, every detail is American-made. Our entire supply chain exists in a relatively small corner of the country. We believe it allows us to produce a higher quality piece, but just as important, is the investment and continued support of local communities and businesses. 

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