CORDUROY: THE KING OF WALES
by Alan Cornett
Long associated with college campuses, the English countryside, and teddy bears in overalls, corduroy is a quintessential autumn fabric. Normally made of cotton, corduroy has ridges, or wales, running vertically down the cloth giving it great textural interest.
By popular account, the fabric’s origin is traced to the servants’ livery of the king of France called corde du roi, the cloth of the king. Some etymologists doubt this story, but regardless of its true roots, by the 19th century corduroy had become a firmly English fabric, and not one for the royal court.