Thursday, 14 November 2013

From Riches to Rags, and Back Again

Our new Classic Corduroy Trousers got us thinking . . . where does corduroy come from? It's such a British staple that conjures images of country gentleman in tweed caps, but has it always been that way?

Turns out that it's the Egyptians who can lay claim to the first incarnation of this hard wearing fabric. We know that it was being made in 200 AD in the city of Fustat, near Cairo. The growth of the cotton trade between the 12th and 14th centuries begins the cloths popularity throughout Europe, where it becomes known as fustian; part of a family of exotic tufted and velvety textiles, coveted by wealthy Europeans.

By the late 16th century fustians were being produced in the UK, but it's not until the late 18th century that it becomes known as corduroy and begins to look more like the ribbed fabric we're familiar with today.

Ironically the fabric once worn by kings becomes known as poor man's velvet in the 19th century as it's mass production, durable and fast drying nature make it a popular choice with working men.

Today it's a popular smart-casual cloth. Wear a Corduroy Jacket with Jolliman Jeans to dress them up for a night in the pub, or Classic Corduroy Trousers with a Tattersall Shirt and a Penrith Diamond Quilted Jacket for that dapper country gent look!