Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that,
when woven, lie parallel (similar to twill) to one
another to form the cloth's distinct pattern, a "cord."
Modern corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted
cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel (bare to the base
fabric) between the tufts. Corduroy is, in essence, a
ridged form of velvet.
As a fabric, corduroy is considered a durable cloth.
Socially speaking, the clothes made from corduroy are
considered casual but not business casual, and are
usually favored in colder climates. Corduroy is most
commonly found in the construction of trousers. The
material is also used in the construction of (sport)
jackets and shirts. The width of the cord is commonly
referred to as the size of the "wale" (i.e. the number
of ridges per inch). The lower the "wale" number,
the thicker the width of the wale (i.e., 4-wale is much
thicker than 11-wale). Wide wale is more commonly found
on trousers; medium, narrow, and fine wale fabrics are
usually found in garments used above the waist.
Corduroy is made by weaving extra sets of fiber 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 pile.
Types of Corduroy
A corduroy with narrower wales (11 per inch).
Pigment dyed/printed corduroy:
The process of coloring or printing fabric with pigment
dyes. The dye is applied to the surface of the fabric,
then the garment is cut and sewn. When washed in the
final phase of the manufacturing process, the pigment
dye washes out in an irregular way, creating a vintage
look. The color of each garment becomes softer with each
washing, and there is a subtle color variation from one
to the next. No two are alike.
Corduroy’s wale count per inch can vary from 1.5 to 21,
although the traditional standard falls somewhere between
10 and 12. Pincord is the finest cord around with a count
at the upper end of the spectrum (above 16) and has a feel
as soft as velvet and superlight.