Dobby is a complex weaving method that produces small, usually geometric patterns on the fabric. Quite often, dobby fabrics are confused with jacquards, but the main difference lies in the looms used to make these weaves. On a dobby loom, the weaver can only control the warp yarns in groups, and has a very limited quantity of them, while on a Jacquard loom warp yarns are controlled individually, and grouped if needed.
Although dobby fabrics are easier to make, they do not lack charm. Usually doobies will have coloured threads woven into the pattern, especially in striped designs. Solid coloured fabrics of this weave have tonal patterns that give a very subtle visual edge to the cloth. The most well-known type of dobby fabric is Pique, used to make polo shirts.
As with most fabrics with a woven pattern, you should be careful not to pull on threads when wearing the garment. Dobby shirts can be machine washed at 40°C or dry-cleaned. Garments made from dobby fabrics are easy to iron, medium heat is more than enough.
Dobbies are made from different yarns, and vary greatly in thickness and appearance. Dress shirts are usually made from cotton dobby. They look extra smart because the fabric has a natural shine and it wrinkles considerably less than most cottons.