A Historic Textile Tale – Corduroy aka Corded Fabric

corded fabric

Corded Fabric, most commonly known as corduroy fabric in the fashion world, is one of the oldest and comfiest materials available to people. As per Wikipedia, “Corduroy is a textile with a distinctively raised “cord” or wale texture. Corduroy is made by weaving extra fiber sets into the base fabric to form vertical ridges called wales. The wales are built so that clear lines can be seen when they are cut into piles.”

History of Corduroy

There is not too much research to attest to the fact. However, it is said that Corduroy or corded fabric is a blast from the past. Its history can be connected to ancient Egypt; it gained recognition throughout Europe during the Industrial Revolution. As per fashion researchers, the word Corduroy is the combination of the words “Cord” and “Duroy.” Here, the cord has a thick, long, string-like texture. There is debate on the meaning of Duroy; the most accepted meaning is as per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which states that it is a “coarse woolen cloth made in England in the 18th century.”

Many of you will be surprised to know that corded Fabric was initially manufactured in the 18th Century to meet the demand of the labor class during winter times. Eventually, it started being used by the upper class for fashion purposes. Even the iconic figures of the industry have praised the textile and brought it to a world stage. Another surprising fact is that the Fabric is derived from fustian fabric, which was again worn by the working class. It was a label of the status and class of a person without saying anything.


Facts about Corduroy or Corded Fabric – You Must Know!!

  • In the early 19th Century, when the Fabric started being recognized, it was known as the “poor man’s velvet.” We have already discussed the usage of the Fabric in the 18th and 19th centuries, sharing the reason behind the statement.
  • India and China are two of the world’s largest producers and exporters of corduroy fabric. Another surprising fact is that the USA is the largest importer of the Fabric.
  • There are six types of corded Fabric making rounds in the market. They are – Standard corduroy, Pinwale corduroy, Elephant cord, Pigment-dyed corduroy, Spandex corduroy and Bedford cord. (Note – Elephants were not harmed for manufacturing Fabric, as mentioned earlier.)
  • Initially, the Fabric was found to be relatively low in stretchability. However, with the use of spandex material, it can be made stretchy.
  • The texture has the ability to absorb dye with ease. This ability allows the surface to be used with a wide range of color palettes. Hence adding style and versatility to the Fabric.
  • Due to the texture of the Fabric, designers can play with the patterns in numerous ways. One can design the pattern in a diagonal format, criss-cross manner, or zigzag. It brings out the creativity on the table of designers and style in the showrooms.
  • Even though the wales are part of the texture in corded Fabric, one needs to be very careful while handling its care. Read the instructions carefully for washing, as most of these fabrics don’t get along with the hard detergents. Again, while ironing, keep the temperature at the lowest, as the heat and weight of the iron can flatten the whales.
  • Did you know that due to the texture of the fabric, it reflects light in a unique way, meaning the light is not reflected similarly to other materials? So, while preparing to sew, make sure you cut the Fabric based on your style. If light reflection is part of your design, then it’s an entirely different story.

What is Corduroy famous for?

Corded Fabric or Corduroy has always been famous for its comfort and warmth. It is a hidden gem of textiles with a fascinating history. The Fabric is not only used for fashion apparel but also for home decor. Corduroy is often made with cotton. However, it can be woven with a blend of both cotton and polyester or just polyester or wool. Here are some of the reasons as to why it is everyone’s choice:

  • Durability and Texture

Corded Fabric has a unique thick weave fabric texture, making it hard to wear and tear. Even the ribbed texture hides the imperfections as well as the stains, making it a perfect choice for many. Among other things, one of the most essential features of the Fabric is its highly durable nature. It is ideal for people who tend to buy less yet high-quality clothes. 

  • Warmth

Due to the use of wool in weaving the texture of the fabric, it offers warmth in cold temperatures. It has a cozy feeling, which makes it an ideal material for winter wear. Winter apparel, like jackets, trousers, etc., are used to keep the warm style in season.

  • Style

Corduroy can be dyed to create different colors and patterns for the stylish apparel. The unique woven texture offers a modern range of fashion clothing to the people. It is the perfect blend of practicality and style in clothing. With a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures available, Corduroy can create various looks, from classic to modern.

Someone correctly said, Corduroy Trousers can give denim jeans a run for their money on any given day.

  • Versatility

Corded Fabric is versatile in nature and can be used in numerous types of design options and can be used for different applications also. Not only that, it can be used in various forms of clothing. It offers warmth in winter and also has the ability to offer breathability in milder temperatures.

Wrapping Up:

Corded Fabric or Corduroy has always been Fashionista’s favorite choice. It offers an excellent look of comfort and has a timeless appeal. This Fabric has always been known for its versatile nature. It is commonly used for making trousers, shirts, and jackets, but it is not limited to just these three articles. Whether you’re sporting a corduroy jacket or adorning your home with corduroy upholstery, this Fabric adds a touch of warmth, comfort, and style to your life.



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