Italian Corduroy: What is Wale?

Corduroy is one of the most highly appreciated materials in clothing. It’s great for pants and long-sleeved shirts, and its Italian version is rich in texture while providing a significant appeal. 

One of the terms related to corduroy we’ll be discussing is “wale”. We will define what it is and how it’s relevant to what you wear. We will also suggest some of our favorite options for corduroys that you can add to your wardrobe. 

By the time you finish reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of what you wear - including Italian corduroy. Let’s get started. 

What is corduroy? 

Corduroy is a fabric known for its distinct ridges or wales. The wales of corduroy are lines that run along the surface of the fabric. They are formed by extra sets of fibers that are woven into the base. 

As a result, corduroy will have a distinctive look and texture. It can also prove useful as a durable fabric that will provide excellent warmth - making it an excellent option for when you’re putting together an outfit during the fall and winter months. 

One of our favorite options for your outfit includes Berle’s 8 Wale Luxury Italian Corduroy Pleated Regular Rise. You can wear this with some of your favorite button-down shirts. It can be an excellent combination for dress casual occasions - be it at a classy get-together or a day at the office. 

The wale explained 

As mentioned, “wale” refers to the number of cords per inch on a piece of corduroy fabric. Specifically, this number represents how many ridges are present in a given space. The wale count will determine the thickness and texture of the corduroy material. 

The count itself will determine the thickness and texture: which will be crucial for the appearance and feel of the corduroy material. Italian corduroy will have a range between 16 to 21 wales per inch. Sometimes, they can reach as high as 30 wales per inch.

With this in mind, a higher count will result in the fabric being smoother and more refined. Plus, corduroy will be much more luxurious with a higher number of wales. 

The impact on style 

A higher wale count will produce a finer, more elegant appearance. As such, it can be great for suits, blazers, and trousers. You can expect Italian corduroy to be classy and sophisticated.  

Another thing you want to keep in mind is the occasion. If you want to wear Italian corduroy in a semi-formal event, you can certainly make sure that a high wale count will be the best option. However, a lower count like 8 or 11 wales per inch will be perfect for casual days. 

It is important to plan your outfits accordingly. You can choose between pleated or a flat front version of the 8 Wale Luxury Italian Corduroy offered by Wale. 

Choosing the right wale for you 

It may be a challenge to select the appropriate wale count. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal choice and style preferences. If you are looking to put together a well-rounded wardrobe, you can have a mix of corduroy pieces that are both high and low wale counts. This way, you can have pairs of corduroy trousers that will be great for casual purposes (and others for a semi-formal purpose). 

You now have a good idea of choosing the right wale count and when it’s necessary. Once again, low wale count is for casual purposes and high wale count is for a much dressier occasion. 

Proper care for Italian corduroy 

When maintaining the integrity of Italian corduroy, you want to make sure you implement the proper care measures. Of course, it would be a good idea to follow the care instructions found on the garment labels. Typically, the best approach for proper care includes dry cleaning your corduroy pieces that are much more luxurious in texture. 

However, wales that are coarser can be machine washable on a gentle cycle. When drying, it’s important to make sure it’s air-dried as opposed to throwing it in the dryer. This approach to drying will prevent shrinkage that otherwise might occur if you utilize regular drying methods. 


Italian corduroy and other versions of corduroy fabric will have different wale counts for you to choose from. Remember that you have one type for casual purposes and others for dinner parties or even dressier occasions. Berle has corduroy options that you can choose from -so be sure to check out our catalog today.