T-shirt in cotton knit-stitch in barley

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Buying

£170.00 — ex VAT

T-shirt — if only there was a better name — knitted in the hand-framed method with super-soft cotton in the south-west of the British Isles.

Sizing

The t-shirt fits true to size, so the wooden man here, a true 38 in the chest, is wearing a size S.

XS S M L XL
To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 19½ 20½ 21½ 22½ 23½
Shoulder 16½ 17 17½ 18 18½
Back length 25 25½ 26 26½ 27
Sleeve from centre-back 18 18¼ 18½ 18¾ 19
A t-shirt, this, sure — if you want to be technical about it. But it is a t-shirt from an alternative history of the t-shirt, where rather than from about 1950 racing to the bottom — the basic that bunks now with socks and pants — it became instead a classic, enduring, and crowning measure for traditional knitting.
The neck is made of two pieces, lapped over each other at the sides, where they are inked by hand (see the faint cabling) onto the body and forming a teardrop corner as they link onto the shoulder seam. It all serves to give the neck good structure, a certain convexity, to maintain shape when under other articles.
For a t-shirt, it is quite heavy, being two-ply — two ends of yarn, in this case cotton — all over. Substantial enough to be worn by itself without further adornment, but still fine enough to serve under, say, a casual shirt. Good under a tailored jacket, too, where it makes not wearing a shirt not an over-casual cop-out.
The t-shirt is entirely hand-linked — meaning that, where the neck joins the body, or the sleeve joins the neck, there is no discernible seam or bump. Just a flat, smooth, every-tiny loop-of-yarn-looped-by-hand-and-knitting-needle-onto-the-next-one link (as time-consuming and skilful as it sounds).
The yarn is cotton, but cotton of unchartered softness. Superlatives besides soft are second-best, but spongey is another good one. It makes for a t-shirt that has a warmth to it, so that it feels comforting on cooler days, but is also light and springy enough to have its uses through summer, too.

As worn

This isn't the t-shirt, but the polo shirt — which is what this is — is extremely similar, with only really the style of neck and the type of stitch being different. It's a size S, here, worn by a man who is 11 stone, and as standard a 38 chest as you could hope ever to meet.
Same gent, same polo, but a different colour.

Makers of

The garment is hand-framed by a knitwear maker founded 100 years ago. They work with small, hand-operated machines overseen by one person, rather than automated machines, making them one of the last makers still to do so in Britain. It is slow going, but the results always bear out the work put in.