Corduroy is a strong durable fabric most notable for its unique ridged pattern known as cords or ribs. Often made from cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, corduroy is considered an excellent trans-seasonal fabric due to its breathability, durability and velvet-like appearance.
Although the corduroy fabric we know today only began being manufactured in 19th century England, this textile actually dates back to ancient Egypt in 200 BC, where the heavy cloth fustian originates. With a raised, sheared nap, this fabric was very similar to velvet or moleskin, eventually becoming popular throughout Europe hundreds of years later. It became notably popular in the lates 1960's and 70's, and has remained a staple of the clothing industry ever since.
Corduroy consists of three separate yarns woven together. The two primary yarns create a plain or a twill weave (the base or wrong side of the fabric) and the third yarn intersperses this weave, forming floats or ridges that pass over at least four warp yarns that are then sliced to produce the fabrics pile.
The ridges of piled yarn on corduroy fabric are known as wales, and these wales vary significantly in width. A piece of corduroy fabrics 'wale number' is determined by the number of wales contained in a single inch of fabric. The lower the wale number, the thicker the corduroy wales.
Below is a rough guide to buying different wales;
6 - Jumbo Wale - ultra wide wale, often used for mens trousers or bottom weights and interiors.
8 - Elephant Wale - wide wale, often used for mens and womens trousers, jackets or bottom weights.
11 - Standard Wale - most common wale weave, used across most garments including jackets, shirts, dresses and trousers.
16 - Pin Wale - fine wale, often used for shirts, dresses and skirts.
21 - Feather Wale - ultra fine wale, often used for dresses, skirts and childrenswear.
You can shop the full collection of our new 8 wale Danny Corduroy here.
Need some pattern inspiration? Check out the below links for our recommended pattern matches:
- Corduroy Jacket - Try the Adelaide Jacket
- Corduroy Blazer - Try the Mckenzie Blazer
- Corduroy Pants - Try the Tolve Pants
- Corduroy Shacket - Try the Bresso Shirt
- Corduroy Jumpsuit - Try the Thelma Jumpsuit