How to wash and take care of corduroy fabrics

Corduroy material is characterized by its distinct ribbed or ridged texture. It is woven using extra sets of yarn that form vertical ridges, referred to as “wales,” which run parallel to each other. These wales are typically made of cotton, although corduroy can also be constructed from other fibres like polyester or a blend of materials. The width of the wales can vary, ranging from very fine (known as pinwale corduroy) to wider wales.

In fashion marketing, corduroy fabrics are sometimes simply referred to as “cord”.

Corduroy fabric is known for its durability, warmth, and softness. It is commonly used to make clothing such as trousers, jackets, skirts, and shirts. Its distinctive texture and versatility have made it a popular choice for casual and outdoor wear. Corduroy also comes in various colours, allowing for a wide range of design options.

A long-existed fashion and style go-to, corduroy is a versatile and timeless fabric that provides both comfort and uniqueness.

Corduroy trousers

Caring for corduroy fabrics

Because of their nature, corduroy fabrics require proper care to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. In fact, when not washed and cared for properly, corduroy fabrics will fade, thin out or get completely destroyed. To ensure that your corduroy fabrics last, it is important that you close attention to the way you wash and clean them.

Here are some tips on how to take care of corduroy fabrics:

1. Read and follow the care label

Always check the care instructions provided on the garment’s label. The manufacturer’s recommendations should be your first point of reference.

2. Washing corduroy fabrics

Most corduroy fabrics are better hand-washed but can also be machine-washed, depending on the type of item. Confirm what the manufacturer recommends on the care label. It is generally recommended to turn corduroy garments inside out before washing them in a machine to minimize friction and preserve the texture.

Use a mild detergent and wash the fabric in cold or lukewarm water to prevent shrinking or colour fading. Some newer models of washing machines now come with a “hand wash cycle” which mimics regular gentle hand washing (to some extent). You might want to take advantage of this option when cleaning your corduroy clothes.

Also, it is best to wash corduroy fabrics at minimal soiling. Heavily soiled corduroy fabrics will be difficult to clean and sometimes the stains might stick and become difficult to remove.

3. Drying

It is best to air-dry corduroy items to prevent them from shrinking or losing their shape. Hang them on a clothesline or lay them flat on a clean, dry surface. Avoid direct sunlight as it can cause fading. If you need to use a dryer, use a low heat setting or the delicate cycle.

4. Ironing

Corduroy tends to wrinkle, so ironing is often necessary. However, use a low to medium heat setting and iron on the reverse side or place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to prevent crushing the pile. Avoid excessive heat, as it can damage the fabric.

5. Brushing

Regularly brush your corduroy garments to keep them looking neat and free from dust or lint. Use a soft-bristled clothing brush or a garment brush to gently remove any debris or surface dirt. Brush in the direction of the pile to restore its appearance.

6. Stain Removal

Treat stains on corduroy fabrics promptly. Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any excess liquid or residue. Avoid rubbing, as it may push the stain deeper into the fabric. For specific stains, refer to stain removal guides or consult a professional cleaner if needed.

7. Avoid Friction

Corduroy can be prone to developing shiny patches with excessive friction. To prevent this, avoid sitting on rough surfaces or repeatedly rubbing the same area of the fabric. Be mindful of how you handle and wear corduroy items to maintain their appearance.

8. Storage

When not in use, store your corduroy items in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Hang them or fold them neatly to prevent creasing. It’s also a good idea to store them separately from other garments to avoid any potential friction or damage.

By following these care tips, you can help keep your corduroy fabrics looking their best and ensure they last for a long time.

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