Evolved from the ancient cotton weave known as ‘Fustian’, Corduroy existed for thousands of years even before it acquired the name it is now known for. Corduroy Manufacturing has been in practice since 200 AD, where it was first used in the Egyptian city of Fustat. Corduroy gained more popularity under the name ‘Fustian’, during the 14th century in Europe, as it became a sought-after exotic fabric amongst royalty and wealthy Europeans.
By the 17th Century ‘Fustian’ became commonly known as a cotton and linen mix woven fabric with a raised and sheared nap. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that Corduroy became popular throughout the world. In 18th Century England, ‘Fustian’ was manufactured as a modern, practical choice of outdoor textile. It was during this period when the term Corduroy was coined in England as an early form of branding using the French word ‘Cor-du-Roi’, which translates to ‘Cloth of the King’.
While the slightly more expensive versions, made out of long brushed pile, and the most expensive version, which were manufactured in the true-cut pile using the original techniques, became the trend due to their use by the Royalty, the cheaper versions were also produced from brushed pile for use by the general public. Due to its ability to dry quickly, Corduroy became popular among School-masters and those engaged in ink-based trades.
At the turn of the 20th century, Corduroy became a sought-after property throughout the world, with manufacturing of Corduroy in Americas and Asia giving a new range of clothing style to the people in these regions. Corduroy became popular as a children’s fabric in the early 20th Century. Corduroy’s popularity reached a new height in 1920s and 30s fashion, with suits, trousers, caps and jackets being used for not only regular wear but also as fashion material for the modern, sporty age.
During the 1970s, Corduroy became the most popular material for clothing in India, as a less-rigid and natural material in neutral colours. With Corduroy clothing slowly becoming a trend in Bollywood movies, materials like Corduroy Pants and Coats became popular among the general public. It was during this time that Corduroy Manufacturing in India started developing as a productive industry in India.
Due to its ability to keep warm and its comforting nature, Corduroy is that special kind of material that will never go out of fashion and will always be a sought-after material in India. With new type of Corduroy manufactured especially as a shirting material and for women-clothing, Corduroy now has more versions and types than it has ever had in its almost 1800 years long history.