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Split yolk function on shirts

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Is the split yoke purely eye candy or does it serves a fitting purpose? I've heard that striped shirts need to carry this yoke, but what about ones with checks, herringbone, etc? What about solid colors?
post #2 of 20
Yoke.

Good blog post about it here -

http://propercloth.com/blog/2009/why...e-piece-yokes/
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
My bad I was feeling hungry. Thanks for the article, short and precise.
post #4 of 20
They appear to consider and dismiss what I thought was the actual or original reason for a split yoke:
Quote:
3) Another argument you will often hear is that split yokes provide for a better fit. I’ve been scratching my head over this argument for awhile. I suppose it’s possible that a really advanced bespoke tailor on Jermyn street would adjust the different sides of the yoke to accommodate for some unevenness in the shoulders and that that this could potentially provide for a better fit. But this is risky stuff. While an asymmetrical shirt might actually fit its owner better, it also might actually exaggerate the appearance of the person’s asymmetry. Furthermore, no made-to-measure shirt makers I know (including Proper Cloth) take this into account. Basically, we make the split yoke the exact same shape of the one piece yoke.
In fact, they seem to dismiss it on the grounds they (a MTM shirt business) don't do it, which seems a bit self-serving to me. I can follow their argument that a split yoke has persisted in non-bespoke shirts due to strength advantages, but I'm pretty sure the original reason was for adjustments to fit in a bespoke shirt. I don't see how this would exaggerate asymmetry.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post
Yoke.

Good blog post about it here -

http://propercloth.com/blog/2009/why...e-piece-yokes/

Excellent. Thanks.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cold war painter View Post
They appear to consider and dismiss what I thought was the actual or original reason for a split yoke:



In fact, they seem to dismiss it on the grounds they (a MTM shirt business) don't do it, which seems a bit self-serving to me.

I can follow their argument that a split yoke has persisted in non-bespoke shirts due to strength advantages, but I'm pretty sure the original reason was for adjustments to fit in a bespoke shirt. I don't see how this would exaggerate asymmetry.


Read the whole article
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark View Post
Read the whole article

Indeed, interesting.

Quote:
Now, the other day I was talking to an old tailor and FINALLY, I was given an argument that actually makes sense.

To understand this reason, you first need to understand how woven cottons stretch. If you have a dress shirt made from 100% cotton (most dress shirt fabric), you'll notice that the fabric has threads running both vertically (warp) and horizontally (weft). For most high quality woven cottons, the fabric will not stretch very much at all if you try to stretch it vertically, or if you try to stretch it horizontally. However, if you try to stretch it diagonally it stretches pretty easily. (Go ahead - I can wait...)

So, the real benefit of the split yoke is that by rotating the fabrics to the angled orientation, we are basically adding stretch to the yoke across it's width! I can see how this could make a real difference in comfort. When you're tying your shoes, or driving a car, or lots of other every day activities, you put pressure on the yoke and if it is a split yoke it will stretch to accommodate your movement better. You learn something every day.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will C. View Post
Indeed, interesting.


Quote:
Now, the other day I was talking to an old tailor and FINALLY, I was given an argument that actually makes sense.

To understand this reason, you first need to understand how woven cottons stretch. If you have a dress shirt made from 100% cotton (most dress shirt fabric), you'll notice that the fabric has threads running both vertically (warp) and horizontally (weft). For most high quality woven cottons, the fabric will not stretch very much at all if you try to stretch it vertically, or if you try to stretch it horizontally. However, if you try to stretch it diagonally it stretches pretty easily. (Go ahead - I can wait...)

So, the real benefit of the split yoke is that by rotating the fabrics to the angled orientation, we are basically adding stretch to the yoke across it's width! I can see how this could make a real difference in comfort. When you're tying your shoes, or driving a car, or lots of other every day activities, you put pressure on the yoke and if it is a split yoke it will stretch to accommodate your movement better. You learn something every day.

It's a good point, but even that doesn't make a great deal of sense, at least nowadays.

Looking at shirts of mind that have split yokes, most of them have not orientated the fabric diagonally - it is still horizontal. In fact, I think that the only shirts of mine with split yokes that have diagonally-oriented fabric are my bespoke H&K shirts. All the others are oriented horizontally.

Therefore, I would have to conclude that nowadays, split yokes are by and large simply a cosmetic feature, rather than a practical feature on most shirts.

I also think that the most-often cited reason, that of "fit" - that is, the idea that having a split yoke allows for a more precise fit - doesn't make a great deal of sense.

If you are making a shirt for someone, why not just cut one side of the yoke longer than the other if you need to make it fit? It doesn't require a split yoke to have one side of the yoke longer than the other.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Looking at shirts of mind that have split yokes, most of them have not orientated the fabric diagonally - it is still horizontal. In fact, I think that the only shirts of mine with split yokes that have diagonally-oriented fabric are my bespoke H&K shirts. All the others are oriented horizontally.

Therefore, I would have to conclude that nowadays, split yokes are by and large simply a cosmetic feature, rather than a practical feature on most shirts. ...

Given that a horizontally-oriented split yoke is assembled from smaller pieces, there might actually be a savings of fabric because of less waste. If one makes shirts someplace where labor is cheap compared to fabric, and can then turn around and sell the shirts at a premium because the split yoke is seen as a mark of quality, that's a two-fold advantage.

I'm pretty sure I read something like this at AskAndy, but I can't find the thread now. Either that or I'm just imagining I read it. But it makes sense to me.
post #10 of 20
Unless its a bespoke shirt, the only advantage I see is pattern matching.
post #11 of 20
A split yoke cut on the bias does feel stretchier and more comfortable. For this, the inside yoke has to be cut the same, though, i.e., outside split and inside one-piece is probably not going to work. Of course, you could cut a one-piece yoke on the bias, but that would look weird with patterned fabrics. Of course, this only applies for a close-fitting shirt. If your shirt is loose or you have pleats, then it probably doesn't matter.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phxlawstudent View Post
Unless its a bespoke shirt, the only advantage I see is pattern matching.

Ahhh... Pattern matching is worse with a split yoke, because the sleeve pattern and the yoke pattern meet at an angle.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by acecow View Post
Ahhh... Pattern matching is worse with a split yoke, because the sleeve pattern and the yoke pattern meet at an angle.

?

I meant matching vertical stripes. But i we're on the same page, please explain.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark View Post
Read the whole article

I did. As I said, structural argument - fine. Assertion from a MTM shirtmaker that an asymmetrically tailored bespoke shirt is going to make me look freakish - not so convincing.
post #15 of 20
Not reading the article, but my understanding is that a split yoke is needed when the shoulders are cut differently. This makes sense, as the back of the pattern would need to be adjusted to fit the front. A one piece yoke may not lay flat if it's attached to two differently sized shoulders.
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