Cotton, or wooly, or colorful corduroy? Whatever your fabric preference, corduroy is one durable, fuzzy, fun material to wear. The fabric itself looks as if it is made from multiple cords laid parallel to each other and then stitched together. Depending on the style, the ridges of corduroy clothing can run so thin that the  fabric feels like velvet, or so thick that the fabric feels coarse.

Your clothes, your preference, your choice, of course!

Corduroy is a textile composed of twisted fibers that, when woven, lie parallel (similar to twill) to one another to form the cloth’s distinct pattern, a “cord.” Modern corduroy is most commonly composed of tufted cords, sometimes exhibiting a channel (bare to the base fabric) between the tufts. Corduroy can be summed up as a ridged form of velvet.


Corduroy Fun Fact: The interpretation of the word as corde du roi (from French, the cord of the King) is a folk etymology.

As a fabric, corduroy is considered a durable cloth. Corduroy is found in the construction of pants, trousers, jackets, shirts, skirts, dresses and shorts. For the accessory lovers among us, you can also find purses, jewelry, shoes and boots made of corduroy material.

The width of the cord (or ridge) is referred to as the size of the “wale” (the number of ridges per inch). The lower the wale number, the thicker the width of the wale (a 4-wale would be much thicker than a 12-wale). Corduroy’s wale count per inch can vary from 1.5 to 21, although the standard falls between 10 and 12.

Have a dandy whale of a time dressed in 10 wale corduroy! Soft clothes sublime!


Corduroy is made by weaving extra sets of fiber into the base fabric to form the vertical wale ridges. The wales are built so that clear lines can be seen when they are cut into pile.

The Primary Types of Corduroy Are:

  1. Standard Wale: 11 wales/inch, available in many colors.
  2. Pincord/Pinwale/Needlecord: Pincord is the finest cord around with a count at the upper end of the spectrum (above 16). Feels like silky velvet.
  3. Pigment Dyed/Printed Corduroy: The process of coloring and printing corduroy with pigment dyes. The dye is applied to the surface of the fabric, then the garment is cut and sewn. When washed during the final phase of the manufacturing process, the pigment dye washes out in an irregular way, creating a vintage look.

Cuckoo for corduroy clothing!


Corduroy Fun Fact: Other names often used for corduroy are corded velveteen, elephant cord, pin cord, Manchester cloth and cords. In continental Europe, corduroy is commonly known simply as Manchester, Cord, rib cord or rib velvet. Corduroy is a material traditionally used in making British Country Clothing, such as in coat or jacket collars.

Corduroy clothes are fashionably fun! Look cool with your legs covered in a fabulous pair or colorful cords.


Other Corduroy Fun Facts:

  1. Corduroy is a 1968 children’s book written and illustrated by Don Freeman, and published by Viking Press.
  2. Corduroy were a four-piece acid jazz band outfit based in London, formed around twins Ben Addison (drums/vocals) and Scott Addison (keyboards/vocals). Joining the twins in the band were Richard Searle and guitarist Simon Nelson-Smith.
  3. Corduroy is a song by the American alternative rock band Pearl Jam. The song is the eighth track on the band’s third studio album, Vitalogy (1994). The song was included on Pearl Jam’s 2004 greatest hit album, rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003).

Guess it’s true: corduroy jams!

Wow, corduroy is one massively popular word, be it in the fashion world or the world in general.

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Are you looking for something new and always in fashion to add to your closet? Try cuddly corduroy!


Parade your way through town dressed in a corduroy suit, jacket, dress or gown!

Corduroy Fun Fact: The stylish yet dressy and casual look of corduroy material makes it a great fabric for jumpsuits and jumpers.  Add opaque stockings or leggings and a glam pair of high heels for a look that is va va voom cool in corduroy!

“I want a new jacket that is fuzzy and warm.”

“Fur is out, but wool is the norm.”

“I want a lighter fabric that still holds in heat.”

“Cotton jackets are nice, a fashion diva’s treat.”

“I’m thinking a less common fabric that shimmies and stuns.”

“A durable material not prone to snags or runs.”

“Oh, my dear. I have the perfect jacket for you!”

“Boy oh boy, corduroy! Yes, that will do!”

Classic corduroy for the class and sass in all of you!


Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website, Twitter @, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano


About authornancymangano

Nancy Mangano resides in Orange County, CA. She has blended her love of detective work and style in her novels, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy.
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