What does Corduroy mean?
The French are said to have originally called this this lush velvety fabric “Corde Du Roi”, cord of the King. The fabric is ribbed throughout the length and the ribs are cut and sheared so that a smooth velvety surface appears. Fourteen wale corduroy was one of the most important jeans fabrics in the 1960′s and 1970′s when jeans became universal.
The fabric has a rounded plush velvet type cord, rib, or wale surface formed by cutting the pile. The fabric is woven by having one warp and two fillings. After weaving the back of the fabric is coated with glue, and the ribs are cut open down the centre.
Once the glue is removed from the face, the fabric is finished by a series of brushings, waxings, and singeings. When the pile is made from extra fillings rather than from extra warp yarn, the fabric is called velveteen.
Heddels explains Corduroy
Corduroy is a velvet-like material with distinctive vertical ridges called wales. While many believe the term corduroy to have come from a French phrase ,“corde du roi (cloth of the king)”, there is in fact no such phrase in France, where the fabric is known as “velours côtelé”.
With the fabric’s English origins, the word corduroy more likely came from a combination of cord and duroy, an obsolete coarse woolen fabric. The wale count per inch of corduroy ranges from 1.5 to 21; however, standard corduroy normally has between 10 and 12 wales per inch.
Corduroy is a very warm, durable fabric and is often used for winter trousers, jackets and shirts.
Levi’s 514 Slim Straight Bedford corduroy:
Close-up of corduroy: