This post is also available in: polski (Polish)
Recently, I have been wearing corduroy trousers again. This time in Tobacco colour. I find in them lines from poems, cigarette smoke from student days, and the fragrance of Cracow. Because dust from many places settles on the corduroy, and between the stripes is my character – a pinch of nostalgia, rebellion, and the amber sun.
When I was a teenager, my mom had a beautiful burgundy cord trousers, and one day, regardless of the bigger size, I put them on to school. I liked to play with fashion, even experimented with too large clothes. In that time I dressed quite originally, but it made me feel myself. I dreamed of designing fashion but I have never made its dream come true. So, today I tempt to write something about this brightness. You can find inspiration for the stormy weather dress, and explore the interview with Fashion Designer from Ghana. Now it is time to describe material that has fascinated me for years.
Corduroy talk an interesting history
Did you know its origins were in ancient Egypt? It is derived from the ancient weave of fustian cotton, which was produced in 200 AD on the Nile. The fabric becomes known and more popular in Europe with the growth in the cotton trade from the 12th – 14th centuries. The King Henry VIII liked to wear fustian as well. The textile had no stripes yet. In 18th Century England, the cloth was manufactured as a modern, practical choice of outdoor textile, because it was warm, quickly dried. Towards the end of the 18th century fustian was a practical, protective textile used in working garments. It was especially popular amongst schoolmasters and those in ink-based trades. The corduroy with stripes was produced the 19th century at a factory in Manchester. To this day, corduroy with wide stripes is simply called Manchester. However in Scandinavia with the word Manchester people named all cord trousers.
The name of corduroy comes from the French corde du roi, literally translating royal rope, or royal cloth. It probably refers to the stripes on the material. I have no idea why the Polish word of corduroy – sztruks comes from the German struck as the German this fabric has name cordhose.
Corduroy peaked in popularity in the 1970s, when it was worn as a symbol of the anti-establishment. Loved by musicians, artists and directors. The cord jackets and trousers used to wear by Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Pablo Picasso.
How to wear corduroy?
Although corduroy is a controversial textile, but truly vintage, some people love it, some hate it. In my opinion, it is outstanding for fashion experimentation. Corduroy looks nice with cotton blouses, but also with woollen sweaters. It can be interesting with patterned, airy shirt, or a checkered flannel. A corduroy suit or jacket be sure with a colourful silk scarf, or handmade woollen scarf. A wide leather belt seems amazing with the cord trousers (mine belt which was before my mom still remembers the 1960s). I also encourage you to play with accessories, especially beads or ceramic brooches. In my opinion, linen does not go well with cord, the same with shiny elements.
Below the session from NUIG campus in Galway, Ireland
corduroy jacket: Ravel, bought in 90s
scarf: handmade by crotchet
belt: from my mom 60s
All photos by Maciek Doczyk
What do you think about corduroy?