This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Shirting. Any fabric designed for making shirts, such as cheviot, osnaburg and percale; specifically, brown or bleached muslin, as distinguished from sheeting. Calico and percale shirting are usually printed with but one or two colors, in small neat patterns. Fancy shirting is woven in simple patterns, such as plaids and stripes, after the manner of gingham, and is termed in trade Oxford shirting. A gingham is a cotton fabric used as a ladies' dress material, whereas Oxford shirting is a cotton material used for making shirts, or ladies' and children's waists. By examining Oxford shirting it will be found that two warps run side by side, and that the filling binds these two together. It is this peculiarity in weave that gives the name Oxford to this class of shirting. Cotton shirting flannels differ materially in point of structure from gingham, particularly in the softness of the weft yarns used, though each are plain-woven, with the patterns woven in instead of being printed on. The napping or teasling process requires that the weft be very loosely twisted, otherwise the yarn will not yield to the teeth of the napping machine. The napping of cotton shirting flannels is usually performed by passing the goods over cylinders armed with wire teeth, which pull out the surface fibers of the filling threads. When a heavy appearance is desired with a long, woolly surface, the teas-ling process is completed when the cloth leaves the napping machine; but if a smooth, even surface is required, as in the delicate French flannel, the goods are calendered by being passed between iron rollers heated by steam. [See Flannelette, Domet, Percale, Osnaburg, Calico, Cheviot]