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(pronounced KOR-deh-roy)

We often think of this fabric in terms of clothing, but this type of cloth that has parallel, lengthwise cut-pile ribs or ridges — otherwise known as wales — running the length of the fabric is useful for upholstery too. From the French “corde du roi” meaning “rope of the king,” corduroy was originally constructed from cotton but is also made from polyester, rayon and acrylic. The width of a corduroy cord is called the wale, and its relative width often determines how the fabric will be used. Wide wales create a stiffer, more durable fabric such as would be used on upholstery, while narrower wales result in a softer, more pliable cloth that can be slightly less durable.