Corduroy is a fabric with evenly spaced vertical rows of soft pile. These rows are arranged in a distinct pattern called a “cord” or a “wale.” Corduroy as a fabric dates back to eighteenth century England, where it was primarily a rough wool cloth, rather than contemporary corduroy, which is soft to the touch and usually made from 100% cotton.

There are different types of corduroys, which are classified by the number of lengthwise pile rows per inch—feathercord has 20-25; pinwale has 16-23; regular wale has 14; wide wale has 6-10; and broad wale has 3-5.