In our books, autumn is the perfect time to wear textured fabrics like corduroy and needlecord. The pile gives a luxurious and slightly light-reflecting quality; there’s a depth to the colours too as a result of the texture. This navy blue needlecord fabric was one of a group we snapped up as soon as we saw it. It’s a classic rich shade of navy blue – not so dark as to be mistaken for a black but with a real sense of depth.
What kind of fabric is this?
Needlecord is a lighter-weight version of a corduroy fabric. It’s much lighter and less stiff and structured than a corduroy, but still with the capacity to hold a shape. This is a 100% cotton fabric; there’s no stretch content. It classes as a needlecord fabric not only due to its lighter weight, but also because the wale count is about 20 – well over the usual threshold for a needlecord. (In case you’re wondering, ‘wales’ are the raised velvety stripes running the length of the fabric – the narrower they are, the more there are to the inch – that’s the wale count. A needlecord has more 16 or more – a thicker ‘elephant’ cord would be fewer than about 10.)
What does this fabric feel like?
Our navy blue needlecord fabric is a beautifully soft fabric – very pliable and not in the least stiff. The outer side is gentle and velvety – whereas the inside is smooth and will be perfectly comfortable next to the skin as trousers, for instance. The pile of the fabric surface is directional. You’ll need to cut your pattern pieces all in the same direction, ensuring that each piece has the pile direction running down the completed garment.
How does this fabric move?
The lighter weight of this navy blue needlecord fabric is evident in this video; it falls into softly-angled folds and a length of it will swing and ripple without too much stiffness.
NOTE: Our videos are intended to show the movement of a fabric. For accurate colour and pattern detail, please refer to our still images.
Will I need to line this fabric?
This is a fabric with excellent opacity despite its relatively lighter weight. It won’t therefore need lining for purposes of modesty and its softness will mean that unlined trousers will be perfectly comfortable. However a jacket or dress would probably need lining for to help with structure and fitting. You’d probably also want to line a skirt or pinafore in order to enable movement across the body and over hosiery.
What can I make with this fabric?
Trousers, casual jackets and winter skirts are all options for this classic navy blue needlecord fabric. If you’re considering trousers, we’d suggest straight or wider-legged designs would be more appropriate for the weight of the fabric. It would also be perfect as a dress, a pinafore or dungarees. We think its gentle structure would be perfect for a winter version of the Tulip Dress from The Assembly Line.
Machine wash separately at 30º or 40º
Machine wash at 30º or 40º. Do not iron textured side. Use a medium steam iron on the wrong side with a towel placed under the fabric to retain the texture of the pile. Brush or stroke the pile gently to lay it evenly.
See our Fabric care pages for more information.