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Close up of corduroy fabric


| What is corduroy?

Corduroy is a fabric with evenly spaced vertical rows of soft pile. These rows are arranged in a distinct pattern called a “cord” or a “wale.” Corduroy as a fabric dates back to eighteenth century England, where it was primarily a rough wool cloth, rather than contemporary corduroy, which is soft to the touch and usually made from 100% cotton.

There are different types of corduroys, which are classified by the number of lengthwise pile rows per inch—feathercord has 20-25; pinwale has 16-23; regular wale has 14; wide wale has 6-10; and broad wale has 3-5.

| When should I wear corduroy?

Depending on the weight of the fabric, corduroy can be used in dresses, shirts, pants, coats, and upholstery. It is a particularly popular clothing fabric for the cooler months. Corduroy is sturdy enough to be used for dress pants and coats, but soft and drapeable enough for winter dresses and lighter-weight corduroy shirts for men and women.



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