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Get to Know CORDURA

Cory Ohlendorf

Why this military-grade material is the first name in fabric durability

When it comes to hard wearing fabrics, no name is quite as synonymous with durability as CORDURAFrom outdoor gear and high-end streetwear to military bases all over the world, it’s still the first choice for those who want a near-indestructible finish.

It’s why we chose CORDURA threads for our best-selling Passage Pants. If you’re going to cut a pair of performance pants to look and feel like your favorite pair of jeans, they have to be sewn with a thread that can take the abuse of any adventure you put them through.

How’d this miracle material come to be? And what makes it so great? Invented over 90 years ago, CORDURA was created by DuPont for the U.S. military during World War II for use in tires. The durable weave was sewn into the tires’ lining to increase their puncture protection in dangerous and rugged combat environments.

After the war, DuPont developed nylon and abandoned their original weaves. In the 70s, a process was developed to dye nylon fabric without compromising its wear life or water resistance. Instantly, the CORDURA name was reborn and applied to a whole new range of civilian products like backpacks, jackets and camping gear.

 

All woven fabrics are made up of various yarns and while the weaving method matters, most of the technical jargon refers to the yarn. CORDURA is known for using Nylon 6.6 which is a particularly strong type of nylon. Unlike say ballistic nylon, CORDURA is composed of multiple textured fibers - much like those found in natural fabrics. The unique, slightly fuzzy texture is what gives it wonderful abrasion resistance - making it hard to scuff, scratch or rip - because the fibers reduce friction caused by rubbing the fabric against another surface. Which is really just a long-winded way of saying that this fabric is badass and it’s got nearly a century’s worth of proof to back it up. 

 

* FYI: Eastpak was the first civilian brand to use CORDURA fabric in their backpacks.

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