The Holy Grail
Etamine in yellow, white, blue, pink and melon
I was talking to Tom Davis (MTM Shirts) at Brooks Brothers last week. We covered a lot of ground but everything stopped when he brought up etamine. An ultra light voile-like fabric used by Brooks Brothers for shirting years ago. I did some digging around and didn't find much. I'm still digging.
A weekend wander through textile and fashion books reveal the letter 'E' has the fewest entries and etamine ain't one of 'em. The internet will tell you it's a light porous cotton in an open mesh, susceptible to snagging, with a slight gloss finish. Dig a little deeper into the etymology and, by 1936, etamine is pretty much extinct.
Hardly a surprise Brooks Brothers catalogs from the late '70s and early '80s show the shirt Tom remembered. Short sleeve pullover in basic blue, yellow and white with pink and melon added in 1981. Great colors, popular pullover style and a fabric that appears to breathe better than linen. Cheaper too according to a web site that sells etamine for three bucks a meter (beware minimum order).
Who knows if etamine today is the same as it was in 1981? That's a question not a statement. If you know, please let me know, since the hunt is on. Summers don't look like they're gonna get any cooler.