STYLE: The Difference Between Chambray and Denim
by Sam del Pilar
The last three seasons in fashion there has been a huge trend around chambray pieces. We’ve seen chambray shirts to hats and if you ask someone, “What is chambray?”, they might not know how close to denim it actually is. They are both blue in color and made of cotton. In general, chambray is the lighter of the two fabrics and usually used to make long and short sleeved work shirts, while denim is usually used to make work pants or jeans. The true differences between the two come down to the fundamentals in the way they are weaved in manufacturing.
The method used to weave denim actually gives it the iconic diagonal pattern. This special weave also means that it produces an overall tougher and denser material. The diagonal pattern is created due to the weave with a 3 to 1 ratio; this means for every 3 strands of cotton there is one strand thats crossed which then creates the diagonal pattern. Chambray, on the other hand is weaved using a more basic technique with a 1 to 1 strand ratio. This even ratio gives a more “squared” and lighter look to your pieces. Check the video below to see exactly how denim is made giving you a better idea of the manufacturing process.
This video is provided by the talented Self Edge and Cone Mills.