The Ultimate Guide to Corduroy and Needlecord Fabrics
Corduroy and needlecord fabrics are commonly used for dressmaking, shirting, trousers, and craft projects. They are durable, cosy, and are available in a variety of thicknesses and wale sizes. In this blog we'll cover everything you need to know about corduroy and needlecord fabrics, from how to care for them to what projects they are best suited for. So grab a cup of tea and settle in—it's time to learn all about corduroy!
Commonly made from cotton, but can be made from polyester and viscose or a blend of these fibers, it's a sturdy fabric, often used for outerwear garments like jackets and pants. It’s also frequently used for upholstery and heavy-duty crafting projects.
Corduroy is a type of twill weave fabric that's characterised by its thick vertical ribs, or "wales" the number of wales per inch (wpi) indicates the thickness of the corduroy fabric; the higher the wpi, the finer the corduroy.
Jumbo cord is the largest type of corduroy, with ridges that are 3-10 wales per inch. It's often used in upholstery projects like couches, ottomans, and chairs. Jumbo cord is also a popular choice for making heavy duty bags like duffle bags and backpacks as well as jackets and coats.
|Friday Pattern Co Ilford Jacket Pattern||Luxury Stretch Corduroy - Beige||Compass Bag Pattern Noodle head|
Standard corduroy is the most common type of corduroy. It has 11-14 wales per inch and can be used for a variety of projects, including dresses, trousers, lighter weight upholstery projects, and even some crafting projects.
|McCalls Pinafore Dress Pattern M7831||Luxury 11 Wale Corduroy - Teal||Misses' Vintage Pants, Overalls & Blouses pattern by Simplicity|
Needlecord is a finer type of corduroy that has 14-18 wales per inch. It's often used for dressmaking because it has a softer hand feel than other types of corduroy. Needlecord is also a popular choice for children's clothing and can be either plain or printed.
|Megan Nielson Flint Pants and Shorts Pattern||Baby Driver - Retro||Grainline Studio Reed Skirt Pattern|
Pin cord is very similar to needlecord but has a bit more texture because it has 18-22 wales per inch. It's often used for projects that require more durability, like kids clothing, workwear trousers and shirts.
|Closet Case Fiona Sundress Pattern||Super Soft Needlecord - Yellow||Cashmerette Vernon Shirt Pattern|
Baby cord is the smallest type of corduroy, with 22-25 wales per inch. As you might expect, it's often used for baby and children’s clothing and other projects that require a soft, delicate fabric.
|Wardrobe by Me Anna Shirt Pattern||Velvet Stretch Needlecord - Purple||6795 Separates / Coordinates pattern by Butterick|
Your corduroy and needlecord fabrics can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cool water. However, it's always best to test a small swatch of the fabric before washing your entire garment. To machine dry corduroy, hang your garment on a clothesline or drying rack; do not put it in the dryer as this will damage the fabric. For best results, iron corduroy while it is still damp. Store your corduroy garments in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight; this will help prevent fading.
We hope you found this introduction to corduroy and needlecord fabrics helpful! These versatile materials can be used for many different types of garments and craft projects. With proper care, your corduroy garments will last for many years to come. Happy sewing!