Corduroy clothing is often associated with cold weather, but it doesn't have to be. Stores often stock corduroy apparel during the fall and winter seasons because variations of it can be warmer than other materials.
Types of Corduroy
Corduroy comes in a few different weights and textures. Because corduroy is made of twisted fibers woven together to create stripe-like lines, the weight and warmth of pants or a jacket can depend on the type of material used and the wale in which the garment is stitched.
The wale refers to the width of the cord and can be accompanied by a number which determines how many grooves there are per inch. A low wale count means the width of the ridge is wide, and a high wale indicates a much finer corduroy. It's easy to tell whether a garment has a wide or thin wale by looking at it with the naked eye.
Wide-wale corduroy is typically warmer and heavier than thin-wale corduroy. Wide wale can be made from cotton, but are often made of cotton-wool bends. Wide-wale corduroy feels more stiff than thin wale and is most commonly used for pants and coats.
Warm Weather Corduroy
In recent years, very fine-wale corduroy has become a popular material, particularly for womenswear. Fine-wale corduroy is soft and almost feels velvety to the touch. The material is thin and breathable and when worn in light colors, such as white, yellow and soft pink, can actually be worn during spring and summer.
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