People who knit are probably more familiar with the raglan effect (more commonly known as a raglan sleeve) than the general population. What on earth is a raglan sleeve, you ask? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a sleeve that extends to the neckline with slanted seams from the underarm to the neck,” which may still seem a bit vague. Think about a baseball jersey style t-shirt, with the colored sleeve and apply the same color pattern to sweatshirts and jackets.
The sleeve gets its name from Lord Raglan, a British Army Officer who lost his right arm at Waterloo. Lord Raglan refused to let his injury hamper him from performing his duties, so his tailor began making his garments with a different type of sleeve that was easier to put on and move around in. Hence, the raglan sleeve was born.
The technique has lent itself particularly well to streetwear fashion due in part to the fact that some of streetwear’s origins come from sports jerseys and surfer fashion. The raglan sleeve pattern tends to be used for more casual wear, and helps to emphasize sleeves that are a different color from the body of the garment. These sleeves also offer more room than a traditional shoulder seam. For this reason, you often see coats and jackets that employ a raglan effect.
The pattern itself flatters both narrow and broad shoulders on both men and women. Because there’s no seam your eye is drawn away from the shoulders, which helps make broad shoulders look narrower; if you have narrow shoulders, the raglan sleeve adds a bit of structure and always provides a proper fit.
In production raglan sleeves can be tricky, especially with knit fabrics. If patterns are not correctly measured, cut and pinned, finished garments can show a bulge of fabric along the seam in front between the underarm and neck. Apparel Network is well versed in garment production that involves raglan sleeves (see photo) and can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. Browse through our product portfolio to see examples of our garment manufacturing business.