Polyester Corduroy is a soft and lightweight fabric that is used for shirts
, dresses, skirts, pants, and jackets. It is usually made from cotton or a blend of fabrics like cotton-polyester, and it can be a great choice for warmer weather clothing items because of its comfortable feel. This fabric can also be used for home decor projects like cushion covers and curtains. There are many different varieties of corduroy, with varying wale counts and textures. The fabric is often dyed with either pigment or rotary dyes, and it may be printed with various designs.
Corduroy is a woven fabric that has raised lengthwise ridges, known as wales, alternating with crosswise threads that bind the wales together. It is typically made from a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers like polyester and spandex, although it can be made from other types of fibres. The wale count can range from 16 to 21 per inch, with higher wale counts producing a softer and more luxurious feel.
There are two main types of corduroy, based on how the wales are created: narrow-wale and broad-wale. The difference is the size of the wales: narrow-wale corduroy has smaller ridges, while broad-wale has larger ridges. The wale count can also vary based on the type of yarn that is used, with cotton-polyester corduroy having less stretch than cotton or wool-blend corduroy.
While most people associate corduroy with the ribbed texture of pants and skirts, this fabric is also used to make casual tops and jackets. In fact, many knitwear designers use corduroy for sweaters and t-shirts because it is so soft and stretchable. It can be a bit more difficult to sew than some other fabrics, due to its bulk and the need to consider how the ridges will lay on the body when creating patterns.
To help prevent stretching and distortion when sewing, it is important to use a good quality needle, and to reduce bulk by stitching with a shorter seam allowance than you would normally use on other fabrics. It is also a good idea to replace the facings on fitted garments with a lighter fabric, such as a fine cotton, to cut down on the amount of corduroy needed. Fusing interfacing to corduroy can crush the nap and cause unwanted wrinkles, so a sew-in interfacing is recommended instead.
Since corduroy varies widely in color, wale size and weight, as well as how the nap is oriented, it is important to test out a piece of fabric before purchasing large amounts of it. To do this, stroke the fabric with your hand along the selvage, checking that it feels smooth when brushed in one direction and rough in another. It is also a good idea to decide which way you want the fabric's nap to run, as it will change the appearance of your garment: with the nap running up, the fabric looks darker; with the nap down, it appears lighter and more lustrous.