What is Corduroy Fabric?

Corduroy fabric, which gained its initial popularity in the sixties, makes a unique fabric type for many clothing pieces that have made a reappearance in high street fashion. It is often regarded as being an extremely ageless type of cloth.

Because of its velvet-like appearance and cozy feel, corduroy is frequently utilized as a transitional fabric between the warmer months of summer and the cooler months of autumn.

Corduroy can be produced from natural and synthetic fabric types but is typically made from cotton or a mixture of cotton and polyester.

What Is Corduroy Fabric?

Corduroy Fabric

Corduroy fabric is a unique fabric type with a typical twill pattern that results in the creation of diagonal rows of threads as well as deep vertical ribs. Corduroy is a one-of-a-kind fabric that can be dense, ridged, and fashionable without compromising its ability to provide comfort.

Corduroy is also extremely long-lasting, which means that clothing manufactured from it can be worn for many years.

Corduroy can be produced from natural fibers like cotton. Although, cotton, when compared to other natural fibers in the production of corduroy, has the potential to have the greatest adverse effect on the environment, which is not so good. 

To identify and measure corduroy fabric, corduroy is classified according to its number of ridges per inch. These ridges, also known as wales, are arranged in a vertical fashion along the fabric. This indicates that fewer wales are present when there are ridges, which results in the ridges having more substance.

Another thing to understand is that if the wale number is high, it indicates that the corduroy will have a greater density of tiny ridges.

Corduroy types like standard corduroy can hold up to 15 wales, pinwale can hold up to 21, feather cord can hold 20–25, wide wale can hold 6–10, and broad wale can contain 3–5 wales per square inch. 

How is Corduroy Fabric Made?

Corduroy fabric consists of one warp and two fills. In textile making, lengthwise yarns are known as warp, while the ones that run crosswisely are known as weft or filling.

In the filling direction, the two main yarns can be woven in either a plain or twill pattern, and the third yarn can be inserted between them to produce floats that go across at least four warp strands.

Corduroy is distinguished by its characteristic vertical ridges, or wales, which are made by weaving additional sets of fiber into the base fabric. Blades cut the float yarns, resulting in visible piles of fabric on the weave’s outer surface. The resulting piles reveal different patterns.

The way the strands are weaved together determines the type of weave. The tightness or looseness of a weave is determined by the yarn count and the number of warp and filler yarns per square inch.

Once the weaving is complete, glue is applied to the fabric’s reverse, and the floats of the pile yarn are cut in half lengthwise. The glue prevents the filling from being sucked out of the products when cut.

Glue is removed from the cloth, and then the face is combed, waxed, and singed to create a ribbed texture that is reminiscent of velvet.

Cotton is commonly used to weave the cloth, but polyester and wool are also acceptable alternatives. Although constructed using materials other than cotton, the corduroy ridges are less noticeable.

Corduroy is versatile and can be printed with designs or dyed in a wide range of colors.

A Brief History Of Corduroy Fabric

Although the origin of Corduroy fabric is not very clear, the Egyptian cloth fustian, which was likely developed around the year 200 AD, is often credited as the ancestor of corduroy by many historians.

English clothing makers further created the modern type of corduroy in the 18th century.

The term “corduroy” comes from the French phrase “Corde du Roi,” which describes a sort of fabric that courtiers and aristocrats commonly wore in France.

World War I gave rise to its initial wave of fame, and the first half of the 20th century saw it maintain a certain level of prominence until the 1950s, when it began to go out of favor.

It also enjoyed widespread acclaim among British citizens of all classes during the 18th century.

Today, Corduroy fabric is readily available in almost any clothing store you can find. 

Types Of Corduroy Fabric

Corduroy Fabric Types

Corduroy fabric ranges in different forms due to its production or the fibers used to produce them. 

Some corduroy fabric types include; 

  • Spandex Corduroy fabric

Corduroy fabric, whether it’s made of cotton, poly mixes, or wool, can be made stretchy by adding a little amount of spandex during the production process. The average percentage of Spandex used in manufacturing is 5%.

There’s a widespread prevalence of spandex corduroy, especially for children’s clothes. They’re thought to be more relaxing because they adapt to the wearer’s body movements. 

  • Pigment-dyed corduroy fabric

This type of corduroy fabric has a distinctive look because of the way the fabric is dyed. Most corduroys are dyed using pigment dyes and usually occur post-production. 

Many times, mottled patterns on some corduroy fabric types grow more pronounced after each wash.

  • Elephant corduroy fabric

Usually, this corduroy fabric possesses folds of up to 1.5 to 5 or 6 wales. The “elephant corduroy” name comes from the huge and thick cords that can be found in its signature folds.

Elephant corduroy fabric is widely used in creating thick winter apparel due to its higher warmth and fewer wales than other corduroy types.

  • Pinwhale corduroy fabric

While elephant corduroy fabric is smooth all over, pinwale corduroy is textured with numerous tiny ridges throughout its surface. There might even be as many as 21 individual wales in the pinwhale corduroy fabric of the highest quality.

Pinwhale corduroy is also very adaptable and is included in a variety of lightweight clothing. 

What’s The Average Cost Of Corduroy Fabric?

Depending on the method of production used by different manufacturers and other factors, including the cost of the production methods and the retail price of the raw materials used to manufacture corduroy fabric, The average cost of the fabric may differ. 

You can buy corduroy fabric by the yard or by the bolt. The yard is the most common fabric measurement, equal to 36 inches in length. 

Averagely, corduroy fabric costs around $10 to $30 per yard. It will also depend on whether the fabric is blended, as Polyester-lycra blend costs from $9 to 11, while fully cotton corduroy fabric costs around $28 per yard. 

Corduroy Fabric Usage And Applications

Corduroy Fabric Uses

Since corduroy fabric is a very versatile fabric, it’s used in the production of clothing materials for adults and children, although it’s not limited to clothing.

  • Corduroy is used in clothing production

Corduroy is a versatile fabric used to make many different types of clothing, including pants, shirts, coats, skirts, and dresses. 

Recently, many manufacturers have begun incorporating spandex into the corduroy production process, making the final fabric more flexible. This makes it more suitable for garments that are tailored for a close fit.

Nonetheless, it is soft and flows nicely, making it suitable for both sexes’ winter skirts and airy corduroy shirts.

  • As insulators

Because it prevents air from escaping between its threads and functions as an insulator, corduroy is an ideal fabric for summer and winter apparel.

Corduroy fabric is the material of choice for workwear because of its durability and resistance to wear and tear, which is not surprising given the characteristics of the material.

  • Corduroy is used in upholstery

Manufacturers of sofas, chairs, decorative cushions, and even covers for automobile seats frequently employ corduroy in their products.

Corduroy furnishings are great for winter since they add texture and warmth to the home. They are also used in upholstery because it is soft and makes them more comfortable to sit on and look at.

Corduroy Fabric Care And Maintenance

Corduroy can be washed at home with just a few easy precautions. You can look at the fabric tag to see if there are any special instructions for cleaning or maintenance.

  • When washing corduroy garments, it is best to turn them inside out and do it without lint-producing garments like towels, sweaters, or fleece coats. This is because corduroy attracts lint, making it difficult to keep clean.
  • When steaming a garment after washing it, you can get rid of wrinkles, bacteria, and odors all at once.
  • Never iron fabric made of corduroy because doing so will ruin the natural pile and reduce the cords’ visibility, resulting in an unattractive sheen. Corduroy fabric should never be ironed.
  • When storing corduroy, it is best to hang it up so that it can avoid wrinkles. However, when using clips or pegs to hang, care must be taken, as these fasteners might leave stains on the surface they are fastened to.

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