What is the history of corduroy?
Corduroy was first used by kings and noblemen in France and in a few other countries in Europe. For that reason, it was called the "cloth of the king". It was used for the upper ajusted garment (pourpoint) of the king which was called in French "justaucorps". The last part of that word is pronounced "cor" and means "body". The other part of the word "...duroy" is two words in French. Those words mean "... of the king". Kings and noblemen had their pourpoint (to keep them warm) made of wide wale corduroy. Many french kings and Henry Tudor had often their pourpoint made in wide waled velvet close-fitted to the body. However the French don't use the word "corduroy" but "velours côtelé" which could be translated by the words "ribbed velvet". Only french canadians pronounce "corduroy" as french words "cor-du-roy" exactly as if they were saying "body of the king" (corps du roi). Since it was a durable fabric which could be made out of cotton, it was used for young men and workmen for a few centuries before denim became more popular in Europe and North America. Though is was made known as a fabric for kings, it became "the poor man's velvet" since it was used by workers, artists and students. Nowadays, manufacturers of corduroy use some other component with cotton so that corduroy is softer and no more a rugged fabric. It is now often used by designers for more sophisticated clothing though is it still used for work wear especially in some countries.