Corduroy is a long-lasting, durable, and fuzzy favorite fabric that can look its best for years with a little extra effort and care. True corduroy is made from cotton and is woven into “cords,” or ribs and ridges, to create a ripple effect with a lush velvety texture. Some corduroy fabrics are a blend of cotton and polyester, which reduces creasing and wrinkling.
Either way, corduroys are a soft and fuzzy fall and winter favorite that are hearty, warm, and timelessly stylish. We love a good pair of women’s corduroy pants for both their fashion and function.
While corduroy is a durable fabric, as with most pant fabrics, you will want to include some steps to your corduroy care routine to ensure that its unique texture and shape last for years. Corduroy is prone to shrinking, and the fuzzy piles can become distorted if washed incorrectly. Follow our guide to caring for your corduroy pants to keep your cords in tip-top shape.
Although we have generalized recommended steps to caring for your beloved corduroys, it’s always advisable to also check the care label on your garment to be sure you’re informed about specific care measures. Otherwise, our guide to washing and caring for corduroys is good for most corduroy garments. Certain styles of corduroy pants that are blended with other fabrics, such as corduroy leggings, may also require other protocols for care, so always check garment labels before washing!
Before washing, zip and button your corduroy pants, and turn them inside-out. This helps protect the cords and ridges themselves while also ensuring that the pile (that beloved velvety texture) doesn’t get crushed, distorted, or worn down. Turning pants inside-out before washing is generally a good practice, but with corduroys in particular, it helps to protect the longevity of the fabric and the vibrancy of the color. Washing pants right-side-out can, over time, cause fading or dulling of the fabric and color.
Stain removal can be a tricky business, and techniques can change depending on the material. What you would do to remove stains from your jeggings isn’t necessarily the same as removing stains from corduroy pants. The ridging of the corduroy fabric can sometimes catch and lock the stain between the ribs, making it harder to reach.
We recommend using an equal part detergent mixed with water, applying to the stain, and then scrubbing. Use a soft scrubber, like a sponge or toothbrush, to get in-between the cords to ensure the detergent reaches the entire surface area. Alternatively, you can scrub standard stain remover into the fabric with a toothbrush or gentle brush.
As with most items, it’s best to wash corduroy pants with like colors and like fabrics. Because of the hearty nature of corduroy fabric, avoid washing with delicate fabrics, and instead combine with other durable garments such as women’s black jeans. Sometimes the dye in darker corduroys can run into other items, so definitely wash with like colors. If you are worried about running, choose a cold water cycle. Otherwise, wash in cold or warm water with a detergent that is gentle and safe for colors. Try not to overstuff the washing machine, as this can damage the texture of the corduroy. Choose a gentle wash cycle to avoid creasing and wrinkling.
The fuzzy plush nature of corduroy pants doesn’t just attract us — it also attracts lint! Avoid washing corduroy with fabrics that produce lint, such as towels, fleece, felt, women’s wool sweaters, or any other wooly or fuzzy materials. The lint will happily bury itself in the corduroy and will be a pain (albeit not impossible) to get out. If you do accidentally lint your corduroys, put in the dryer on low heat so it catches most of the lint. Use a clothing brush to brush off the remaining specks, and then run your pants through a cold water rinse cycle with half a cup of white distilled vinegar to really zap away all that lint.
Corduroy pants seem tricky to dry because they can wrinkle on the rack and shrink in the dryer. The best trick for drying corduroy pants to help them keep their shape is to split the time between machine drying and air drying. For best results, shake out your cords when taking them out of the washer, tumble dry on low heat for about 10 minutes to remove creases, then take them out. Smooth out the pants, pockets, and seams, and allow to air dry for best results.
If you feel the need to iron your corduroy pants, do so as you would your women’s jeans. Turn the corduroy pants inside-out, and iron on the “wrong side” using medium-high heat. Be cautious when ironing corduroy so you don’t accidentally squish all the ribbing.
Store your corduroy pants as you would most other pants. Fold along seams, and then smooth flat to keep in a drawer or on a shelf. Proper folding and storage will ensure your fabric keeps its shape and doesn’t crease too much. While this may sound like a lot of steps, caring for your corduroys is quite simple and is worth the little extra bit of work to keep your favorite fuzzy pants lasting for years.