The Development History of Corduroy Fabric II
By the turn of the 19th Century, the ribbed corduroy fabric is very popular with both country gentlemen and farmers alike. However, by Victorian times, corduroy fabric starts to be seen as the urban working man’s uniform due to its inflexibility for fashionable-shaped tailoring and its durability. Until it becomes fashionable again in the 20th Century, corduroy fabric is firmly fixed as a signifier of class for decades. By the 19th Century, corduroy fabric is being mass-produced in factories all over Europe and America. Used by workers, artists, and students, it has the image of ‘poor man’s velvet’.
Carrying on its traditional use for sporty and military wear, it is also worn as trousers by mountain climbers, car drivers, and in soldiers’ uniform trousers in World War I throughout Europe. Then, corduroy fabric becomes popular as a children’s fabric in the early 20th Century. Some schools in America and French Scouts adopt it in uniforms.
Corduroy continues its popularity in 1920s and 1930s, with suits, trousers, caps and jackets being worn not just as workwear but as practical fashion material for the modern, sporty age. Corduroy shorts are also seen being worn by boys post-WWI. Corduroy fabric continues to be used as work and sports wear throughout the century.
Since the 1950s, corduroy goes in and out of style several times and is been worn by all ages, rich and poor. Every time, it seems that corduroy fabric has gone seriously out of fashion, it emerges again and gets an update.
During the late 1960s and 1970s, corduroy fabric becomes fashionable again. It becomes a symbol of anti-establishment as a natural, less rigid material in neutral colors. The faded, worn look of the 1960s gives way to an explosion of color and pattern in the 1970s. Corduroy jeans start to become a widespread staple of informal dressing still popular today.
However, in the 1970s, corduroy fabric becomes unfashionable again. Then, in the late 1990s, stretch corduroy fabric is introduced, creating a new, less bulky shape for the fashion-conscious. It seems that, due to its practicality and comfort, corduroy fabric will never die.