Corduroy – Corduroy is a tough, woven fabric, typically made from cotton. It is constructed with a cut-pile running in vertical ribs down the fabric. This is produced using an extra set of weft yarns. The ribs, which are usually velvety to the touch, are made of twisted yarns with exposed base fabric, or channels in between the ribs. These vary in size depending on the end fabric. Very thin ridges are known as ‘pincord’ or ‘needlecord.’ Medium thickness are ‘partridge cord’ and ‘constitution cord’ right up to the thick ‘elephant cord.’ Corduroy was originally named ‘Corde du Roi’ which translates to ‘Cord of the King’ and refers to how it was primarily used for Royalties garments. Corduroy is most commonly used for trousers often named ‘Corduroys’ or ‘Cords.’

How is cotton made?

Cotton is a natural cellulose fibre from the seed boll of the cotton plant. The majority of cultivated cotton is grown in America, China and India, where the conditions are dry and warm. Once the cotton boll is ready it is picked, the seeds are removed and the soft white fibres are removed in a process called ginning. These are what make the cotton fabric; and when harvested they have to be untangled from each other and aligned as they are very fine and fluffy. This process is called combing or carding. At the spinning mill next, the cotton fibres are spun and twisted into cotton yarn which it then woven or knitted into a multitude of cotton fabrics.

Main Physical Properties of Cotton Fabric

  • Naturally Breathable
  • Non-Static because it always contains some moisture
  • Absorbs up to 65% of its own weight without dripping
  • Soft Handle, Good Drape, Dries Slowly
  • Good strength, abrasion resistance and durability
  • Poor Elasticity, so creases easily.
  • Biodegradable and Recyclable
  • Easy to wash and dye
  • Can be boiled and bleached
  • Can be Mercerised to create a higher lustre and strength
  • Can be treated with stain-resistant finishes using Teflon of silicone.

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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