Are you a total fashionista? Do you want to stay on top of the latest trends in fashion and always seem to be just ahead of the game in terms of what’s hot and what’s not? If this sounds like you, read ahead. This autumn and winter you will never guess what is making a comeback in a big, big way – Corduroy! Commonly referred to as ‘Cords’ around the world, corduroy is making a re-emergence this season and for good reason. But where did it come from, and why is it coming back? If it sounds like your thing, be sure to check out Chums for some seriously sweet corduroy threads.
Corduroy – Humble Beginnings
Corduroy, a thick linen with ridges, began as form of fustian cloth, a durable cloth that has existed for millennia. It got its name back in Victorian times when the fustian cloth corduroy was created resembling cords sewn together, usually with a groove between each ‘cord’. Fustian cloth was a combination of several different types of cloth from mole skin to corduroy as well as other types of fabric like velvet and velveteen. This form of heavier cloth was – and still is – chiefly used for menswear, although women have enjoyed use of corduroy throughout time. Over time, these fabrics became known for their own specific uses and corduroy was a popular choice for both men’s and women’s clothing throughout Victorian times.
Medieval To Victorian Rage
Corduroy was used throughout medieval times by numerous Kings of England as a cloth to create their riding clothes and other hard-wearing clothing. It was popular for ladies dresses as well as for various other clothing worn by everyone from gentry to servants. The durability and the heaviness of the cloth meant that it would last longer than cottons and worked well as an outerwear cloth for various dress to wear when partaking in sport such as horse riding or hunting. It seems that the use as a working cloth kept true through the centuries because in the later 17th and 18th centuries many workingmen had their uniforms and the like made from corduroy, namely for the durability. In England it began to be referred to as corduroy during this period, and was a popular choice for those in ink and dirtier professions to help repel dirt longer.
The Sixties and Beyond
The Sixties and the Hippie counterculture movement began to use corduroy as a symbol of their very views about the establishment. Cords were favoured among these folks as a more comfortable fabric to dress in and the emergence of the corduroy jeans paved the way for the informal “cool” dress of the seventies. Cords remained fashionable for almost a decade and have since flitted in and out of favour. But as with many years previous, this year the 70s are back in a big way – namely through corduroy!
So there you have a quick rundown on the history of corduroy. With so many ways to pair it and wear it, it’s no wonder it’s remained a staple of wardrobes for many. Get your hands on some velvety cords for this winter and see what the fuss is about. Check out the infographic below for more details about this great fabric!