Bedford Fabric: History, Properties, Uses, Care, Where to Buy

Bedford Fabric: History, Properties, Uses, Care, Where to Buy

This Corduroy like fabric Bedford is a woven fabric. The typical Bedford fabric is made of wool, cotton or worsted. The material used in making this fabric makes it very strong, heavy, thick and hard to wear.

The Bedford is a wrap-faced and heavyweight fabric with cords running in a vertical direction. Bedford usually has the appearance of stripes with narrow-width and thin lines in between. Some of the commonly used weaves in Bedford fabric are drill weave and plain weave.

The Bedford is often produced using cotton yarns which are used in garments of bottom weight. This fabric with slightly lightweight is made using finer yarns. Fabric made through this process is called a “warp pique”.

History of Bedford Fabric– Initially made of wool yarns in the 14th century
– Used for making uniforms in the late 15th century
Properties of Bedford Fabric– Wrap-faced fabric with visible cords on the face side
– Padding and wadding used to enhance cord prominence
– Even numbers of picks and ends in the fabric
– Normal pick size of four in repeated size
– Two or more cords can be produced in a single repeat
– Durable and long-lasting fabric
Uses of Bedford Fabric– Workwear, including military uniforms
– Dress making, with both heavy and lightweight options
– Suitable for pants production, especially chinos
– Can be used for sportswear and ladies’ wear
Caring for Bedford Fabric– Wash with cold water, warm iron on the backside
Where to buy Bedford Fabric– Recommended to buy at
Recommended Reading– Chapters on sewing essentials, machines, setting up a room,
sewing basics, and fabric store tour

History of Bedford Fabric

In the old days, the Bedford fabric was called Cord Broadcloth. Initially, the material used for the production of Cord Broadcloth was wool yarns. It was woven in the 14th century in Britain by the Flemish weavers.

Afterwards, this fabric was used in the late 15th century by the Duke of Bedford town of Southern England. The fabric was extensively used for making uniforms of troops by the Duke and hence, became famous by the Bedford Cord after the name of the town where it was initially manufactured.

Properties of Bedford Fabric

Wrap Faced Fabric:

The Bedford fabric is a cloth with a wrapped face. It means that the effect of cords in this fabric can only be seen in its face side with plain fabric on the backside.

Use of Padding and Wadding:

Manufacturers also use padding and wadding yarns in order to give the cords in Bedford extra prominence.

Picks and Ends:

If you get a chance to see a Bedford fabric, notice that the picks and ends of the fabric always have even numbers.

Cord Production:

In the production of Bedford, two or more than two cords can be produced in a single repeat.


Due to its resemblance to Corduroy, and the material used in its production, this fabric becomes durable and very long-lasting. Users can use it for a longer duration without experiencing normal wear and tear.

Uses of Bedford Fabric

Work Wear:

The Bedford fabric is a very strong, duty-heavy and tough fabric. This characteristic makes it the best suit for workwear. This is evident from the fact that this fabric was first used for making a uniform for soldiers. Even today, this fabric can be used for making military uniforms.

Dress Making:

Along with heavy and thick cloth, this fabric is also available in a lightweight and comparatively thinner version which can be used for making dresses of different kinds.

Pants and Trousers:

The Bedford fabric is suitable for pants production, especially chinos. Additionally, the Bedford with worsted yarn is also used for making trousers.

Sportswear and Ladies Wear:

Bedford made of spun rayon or cotton of medium weight can be used for making sportswear and dresses for ladies’ wear.

Caring for Bedford Fabric

Although the Bedford is a strong, durable and heavy fabric, it also needs to be washed and ironed with care just like fur, bi-cast leather and lace fabrics. As a user, if you follow some basic care instructions, you will easily retain the quality of this fabric.

Remember, the Bedford fabric is not preshrunk, and it will most likely shrink a little bit after wash. We recommend you to wash it using cold water and afterwards, warm iron it on the backside.

Where to buy Bedford Fabric

We recommend buying Bedford fabric at

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