Bedford (Cord)

Bedford fabric refers to Bedford Cord, which is known for its raised, lengthwise ridges, or cords. It is a woven fabric with a corduroy-like texture but differs in that the cords are woven into the fabric itself rather than cut into the fabric as in corduroy.

History: The fabric gets its name from the town of Bedford in England where it was first produced. It originated as a heavy fabric for durable use, and its production can be traced back to at least the 19th century. Bedford Cord was initially created as a sturdy material for harnesses and reins, but its use quickly expanded due to its durability.

Uses: Bedford Cord has been utilized in various applications over the years:

  1. Military Uniforms: It was famously used for military uniforms, especially for cavalrymen and officers, due to its robustness and the protection it offered against the elements.
  2. Equestrian Apparel: The fabric’s durability and comfort made it ideal for riding breeches and other equestrian attire.
  3. Workwear: It became a popular material for work garments, particularly for those requiring a durable fabric, such as miners and railroad workers.
  4. Automotive Upholstery: In the early to mid-20th century, Bedford Cord was often used in car interiors for its durability and comfort.
  5. Fashion: In modern times, Bedford Cord has been used for jackets, trousers, and other fashion items that benefit from its textured appearance and durable qualities.
  6. Home Furnishings: The fabric’s durability also lends itself well to upholstery and other home textiles.

Bedford Cord is typically made from cotton, but it can also be found in wool for colder climates or a wool blend for added texture and warmth. The fabric’s weave not only provides durability but also a measure of insulation while still allowing for some air circulation due to its raised cord design.

In contemporary times, Bedford Cord’s popularity in clothing has waned compared to materials like denim, but it remains in use for its distinctive look and hardwearing properties. It’s appreciated by those who favor vintage or retro styles and those who need durable fabric for practical applications.

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Birdie Bailey

of Birdyberry.

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