Corduroy combines luxury and durability like no other material. Its modern form was developed as a more affordable alternative to velvet--a plain-weave fabric with dense rows of tufted loops that are sheared to create the same lustrous, soft pile. Its ribbed construction, however, made corduroy especially strong. This ruggedness, combined with its warmth and quick-drying properties, helped make it an outerwear staple in 19th century England, where the world’s best corduroy is still made. Variously associated with workwear, military uniforms, and luxury fashion since, it remains a hardy, versatile, and elegant fabric.