Mrs Bowden’s top tip – Wales

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – WALE

Two fine gentlemen in fine corduroy suits.

Two fine gentlemen in fine corduroy suits.

The weather appears to have taken a turn towards Autumn and I am already planning various warm winter garments for the coming season.  When I think of clothes for the chilly weather I veer towards corduroys, wool and flannelette.  This week’s top tip is a little guide to corduroy as beautifully worn by the Gentlemen in the picture.

Many people associate corduroy with 70’s flares, The Good Life and children’s comfy clothing.  None of this is unfair and I am certainly not judging these associations but corduroy is the most wonderful fabric and can be used beautifully.

I'm in love!

I’m in love!

It can have a marvellous lustre and warmth, is great for washing, now comes in a mad variety of colours and prints and has elevated itself to far greater heights.

Why wouldn't you?

Why wouldn’t you?

Now, many of you will purchase your fabrics on line.  There are lots of different forms of corduroy and the descriptions can be a little confusing at times.

Twill weave often used in the construction of corduroy

Twill weave often used in the construction of corduroy

Corduroy – is a rugged pile fabric made in cotton/cotton mix (although there are also completely synthetic versions available) with a plain or twill weave (as pictured).  A French fabric in origin, it means ‘cord of the King – Corde du roi.

Filling fibres in corduroy construction

Filling fibres in corduroy construction

The pile or ridges in the fabric are made with extra filling yarns which are cut to form the ridges.  The official name of the ridges is WALE and corduroy is often described by the number of WALES per square inch.

The higher the number of wales the finer the fabric is.  So, a needlecord has 16 wales per inch as opposed to a standard corduroy used for clothing which has around 10 and jumbo cord which will have around 6 wales per square inch.  A babycord can have 21 wales.

heart cord

Here are some examples of more alluring fabrics; Liberty needlecord from 100% at £14.00 per metre, 145 cm wide.  Also, how could you resist 100% cotton polka dot corduroy with a whopping 21 wale rating and in such lovely colours from ebay seller fabric-craft?  It’s 110 cm wide and sells for £6.49 and free postage.

Gorgeous spotty cord in two spot sizes

Gorgeous spotty cord in two spot sizes

You can find this bonkers corduroy at, 150 cm wide, 100 % cotton and £7.20 per metre.

It's just amazing!

It’s just amazing!

Or visit the shop at 14 Beach Station Road, Felixstowe, IP11 2DR and check out her lovely cotton fabrics and haberdashery.

In stitches,

Amanda xx


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