Corduroy Fabric

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Wholesale Corduroy Fabric

Corduroy is a type of fabric best known for its raised cord and unique ridged pattern (the ridges are called wales). It’s usually made with cotton, but over time, other fibers have also been used, such as a combination of polyester and cotton, full-on polyester, and even wool. 

What is corduroy fabric and its origin?

Fabric historians believe that corduroy originated from fustian, an Egyptian fabric developed around 200 AD. Fustian features the same raised ridges as corduroy, but it’s definitely much rougher and less closely woven.

Modern corduroy as we know it was developed in England in the 18th century, and during this time, it became popular among all classes in British society. However, in the 19th century, velvet toppled corduroy as the country’s most favored fabric, and corduroy eventually received the derogatory nickname “poor man’s velvet.”

Corduroy gained popularity once again during World War I, and by the 1970s, it earned a widespread revival within western culture. This fabric is still popular today, especially since it’s versatile and durable, making it perfect for several uses and applications.

What are the different types of corduroy fabric?

Because of the fabric’s history, corduroy has developed different variations throughout the years. Here are the most common types of corduroy fabric. 

  • Standard corduroy. This type of corduroy features 11 wales per inch, though anything between 8 and 13 wales per inch is still considered to be standard.
  • Elephant cord. This is named as such because of its very large, thick cords that are reminiscent of the distinctive folds in an elephant’s skin. Elephant cord fabric can have anywhere between 1.5 and 6 wales. 
  • Pinwale corduroy. This is the opposite of the elephant cord fabric. Instead of large, think cords, pinwale corduroy features tiny ridges in every square inch. To be more specific, this type of fabric can have up to 21 wales per inch. 
  • Pigment-dyed corduroy. As the name suggests, this type of corduroy is dyed, resulting in a mottled appearance that becomes even more distinct with each washing.
  • Spandex corduroy. With this type of fabric, cotton, polyester-blend, wool, and spandex are combined to create a stretchy corduroy. 
  • Bedford cord. This is an American fabric that features a similar weave to corduroy. However, unlike corduroy, Bedford cord fabric has uncut pile yarns; as a result, the ridges are less prominent in this one.

What is corduroy fabric used for?

Corduroy has been a popular fabric for garments. In the past, it was used to create workwear, soldier’s uniforms, hats, and upholstery. These days, it’s the fabric of choice for overalls, pants, and jackets. Corduroy pants, in particular, have been in and out of fashion trends for several decades now. 

Corduroy is also quite useful in other applications. To be more specific, it can be used in furniture and accessories, such as chairs, couch coverings, and decorative cushions.

Characteristics of corduroy

Corduroy fabric has several distinct characteristics that set it apart from other fabrics, including:

  1. Texture: Corduroy fabric is made with raised vertical cords, or ridges, that run the length of the fabric. The ridges are created by weaving yarns or fibers in a specific pattern. The texture of corduroy can range from fine (narrow-wale) to wide (wide-wale), depending on the distance between the ridges. This texture gives corduroy a unique and distinctive look.
  2. Durability: Corduroy is a durable fabric, thanks to the density and strength of the fibers used in its production. The tightly woven ridges of corduroy help it withstand wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for clothing that will be worn frequently or for home furnishings that will see regular use.
  3. Warmth: Corduroy is a relatively thick and heavy fabric, which makes it an excellent choice for colder climates or winter wear. The raised ridges trap warm air between the fibers, creating a layer of insulation that helps keep the wearer warm and comfortable.
  4. Comfort: The texture of corduroy also makes it a comfortable fabric to wear. The raised ridges create a soft, plush surface that feels cozy against the skin. Additionally, corduroy has a natural stretch that allows it to move with the body, making it a comfortable and flexible choice for clothing.
  5. Versatility: Corduroy is a versatile fabric that can be used for a wide range of products, including clothing, home furnishings, and accessories. Its durability, warmth, and texture make it a popular choice for clothing items such as pants, jackets, and shirts. It is also a popular fabric for upholstery, draperies, and decorative pillows.

Overall, the distinct characteristics of corduroy fabric make it a popular choice for a variety of applications. Its texture, durability, warmth, and versatility make it a practical and stylish choice for clothing and home furnishings alike.

The production and manufacturing process of corduroy fabric

The production and manufacturing process of corduroy fabric involves several steps, including the selection of materials, weaving, dyeing, and finishing. The following are the general steps involved in the production of corduroy fabric:

  1. Selection of materials: Corduroy fabric can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, wool, and synthetic fibers. The fibers are selected based on the desired quality, texture, and durability of the fabric.
  2. Weaving: The weaving process involves interlacing the fibers to create the distinctive ridged texture of corduroy. This is achieved by using a specialized loom that weaves the fibers in a specific pattern. The spacing between the ridges determines the width of the corduroy, with narrower spacing resulting in fine or narrow-wale corduroy, and wider spacing resulting in wide-wale corduroy.
  3. Dyeing: Once the corduroy fabric is woven, it can be dyed in a variety of colors using a range of dyeing techniques. Some corduroy fabrics are left undyed and come in their natural color.
  4. Finishing: The finishing process involves treating the corduroy fabric to improve its appearance and durability. This can include processes such as brushing to create a softer texture, singeing to remove any loose fibers, and napping to create a more plush surface.

The manufacturing process of corduroy fabric can vary depending on the specific material and desired end product. Some corduroy fabrics are pre-washed to give them a softer feel and a more vintage look, while others may be coated to make them more water-resistant.

Different types of corduroy fabric can also be created based on the thickness and spacing of the ridges. Narrow-wale corduroy has a higher number of ridges per inch, resulting in a fine texture and thinner ridges. Wide-wale corduroy, on the other hand, has fewer ridges per inch, resulting in a more distinctive, thicker texture.

In conclusion, the production and manufacturing process of corduroy fabric involves several steps, including the selection of materials, weaving, dyeing, and finishing. The specific process can vary based on the desired end product, and different types of corduroy, such as narrow-wale and wide-wale corduroy, can be created based on the thickness and spacing of the ridges.

Emerging trend of corduroy fabric

Corduroy fabric has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years due to several factors. One reason is the current trend for 1970s-inspired fashion, which often features corduroy fabrics in a range of colors and styles. Additionally, there has been a growing interest in sustainable and ethical fashion, and corduroy’s durability and versatility make it a popular choice for eco-conscious consumers.

Corduroy has also been embraced by designers and fashion brands in recent years, with many incorporating the fabric into their collections. It has been used in a variety of ways, including as pants, jackets, and skirts, as well as for accessories such as hats and bags.

In terms of the latest fashion trends involving corduroy, some popular styles include:

  1. High-waisted corduroy pants: These have become a staple item in many wardrobes, and are often paired with chunky boots or sneakers for a casual yet stylish look.
  2. Corduroy suits: Corduroy suits have become a popular choice for those who want to add a touch of texture and warmth to their professional attire.
  3. Corduroy jackets: Corduroy jackets are a versatile addition to any wardrobe, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
  4. Corduroy accessories: Corduroy bags, hats, and other accessories are a fun way to incorporate the fabric into an outfit without committing to a full corduroy piece.

Overall, the resurgence of corduroy fabric in recent years can be attributed to a combination of fashion trends and sustainability concerns. Its versatility, durability, and distinctive texture make it a popular choice for designers and consumers.