Some historians tell us that Corde-du-roi was the name given to this cotton pile fabric in the 17th century. Worn by servants in the French royal houses, this durable fabrication gained popularity with the townspeople and spread to the extended trading areas. Others insist the origin was England where it was manufactured. There it became known as Manchester. It is still common today to refer to corduroy trousers as Manchesters. Whatever the origin, this wonderful fabrication is still with us and offers many possibilities for fashion and practicability. Corduroy is milled using extra filling yarns which are then cut and brushed to form the piles or wales. Similar to velveteen in the process, corduroy is woven with linear binding points as opposed to the random points in a velvet. Ribs of varying depth are created depending on the density of the filling yarns. The most common classifications are:
Fine Cord 22-30 wales per inch (aka mini-wale) Shirt or dress weight.
Pincord: 18-21 wales per inch. Shirt or dress weight or children’s garments.
We were thrilled to find this fine pincord this season. The fiber is unusual also in that it is rayon and cotton blend rather than all cotton. The sheen produced gives this a dressier feel than most corduroy fabrics.
Needlecord: 15-18 wales per inch. Slightly finer than classic cord, this also works well for shirts or pants.
We have several colors currently in stock of this classic cord. To view, check in our Denims, Cords and Twills collection.
Classic Cord: 10-14 wales per inch. (aka Manchester or mid-wale) works well for pants, skirts, jackets or jumpers.
Jumbo Cord: 3-10 wales per inch. (aka Constitutional or wide wale) Best for jackets or outerwear. Softer versions can be used nicely for casual pants.
This wide wale cord is double the fun because it is double sided with a slightly smaller wale count on the reverse. Great for subtle trim or roll back collar and cuff.
Sewing Tips: Use a one way layout always! Pile fabrics are brushed in one direction and will show a marked contrast in the way the light hits the wales. Pre-wash to adjust for shrinkage. Consider using a walking foot to keep the layers even. Otherwise, this durable cotton is easy to work with, easy to launder and comfortable to wear!