What Is Corduroy?
Corduroy was a childhood staple for many of us. From jumpers to pants, many of us basically lived in the stuff, especially if you were from a colder climate. However, corduroy is all grown up now and is available in sleek stylish patterns, cuts, and prints for the versatile woman in us all.
Corduroy is the word used to describe a type of fabric that has parallel, lengthwise cords or ridges. The word is derived from the French word for "Cord of the King." Originally made of cotton, the fibers of the fabric are normally twisted as they are woven. When the weaving is finished, the fibers create the long, parallel pattern that has become familiar to us all. Today, corduroy can still be made from cotton or any number of other fabricated fibers including polyester, rayon and acrylic.
This fabric usually has very narrow spaces, known as channels, that run between the cords, baring the base fabric; but the thickness of the cords provides for a generally warm material. Similar to twill, corduroy is a durable cloth, often considered second only to denim. It has long been used for pants and jackets to be worn in cold climates, but its durability also makes it goodupholstery for chairs and sofas.
The feature of corduroy shirts that makes them desirable is their softness and how comfortable they feel when worn. This is due to the weave and the soft ridges, or wales, built into the fabric. The number of these wales varies from a standard count of around 10 per inch, to higher counts in pincord and lower counts in elephant cord. The material is constructed in a similar way to velvet and in fact the term "corded velveteen" is often used.
So there are features of corduroy to be appreciated and a quick browse through your local vintage clothing store will reveal an abundance of corduroy trousers and shirts on sale. An indication perhaps that many people have already experienced the advantages of the material and will even seek out used garments as alternative options.
The make-up of corduroy that makes it ideal for trousers, soft one moment yet structural the next in a different plane, and so smarter-looking than plain cotton, also lends itself to shirt designs. The fabric has directional properties that can be applied to shirt very nicely. Collars can be soft on the neck, yet stable where they need to be. Shirts can also be worn un-tucked and not look over casual either.