If you’re my age, you’ve no doubt had an encounter with corduroy in your life time. As I look back, I’d like to call it the “fabric from hell” but that really wouldn’t be fair. If you were a teenager growing up in the 1960’s, it could be the most embarrassing pair of pants you’d ever wear.
As you walked, you would hear this sound , swish, swish, swish and no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t silence the sound you made with every step you took. But corduroy was warmer than normal dress pants and even blue jeans. But corduroy wasn’t limited to just pants.
There were, of course, sports coats and as God is my witness, corduroy suits. The pants were one thing, but coats were another. Here again, the warmth factor was undeniable, but corduroy sport coats were stiff and and offered restricted mobility. Outer coats made of corduroy were more comfortable and if they were lined were certainly warmer.
As an only child, my Mom held disproportionate power over my wardrobe choices, especially when it came to corduroy. I grew up in the era of Sears and Roebuck catalogs and Mom was the first to peruse the newest catalog since she didn’t work and the mail was usually delivered before lunch, every day.
After a day, she had recommendations for my upcoming seasons wardrobe and approached my Dad with a plan as to how I should appear in public. For a period of time during my early years as a teenager, corduroy was the “fabric of my life”, so help me God. Well, as you can guess, the order was placed at the local Sears store and after a few days the phone call came that informed my Mom that the package was in and ready to be picked up.
So it went for several years, then came a reprieve. Corduroy as an element of interior design. The textile company my Dad worked for had a plant already making corduroy, but then that company purchased a plant that dyed and finished corduroy. Soon corduroy came out of the closet and into the living room.
An old floral chair and matching ottoman were the first victims followed by two accent chairs whose cushions were soon history. That was it for a while as the antiquing craze that I mentioned in an earlier post also took hold. the next appearances were simply recovered accent pillows on beds and the two couches. But their was one more target.
I had mentioned that when we sat at the cherry dining table now serving as my work station, it was covered by a tablecloth and a pad. Mother had a rich dark green table cloth for Christmas that set off her Christmas holly china. Soon that china found itself planted on a bright red corduroy table cloth. It never really worked with the gold medium shag carpet. But that’s another story for another time.