Chambray is a soft, lightweight fabric often mistaken for denim. Although chambray can be similar in appearance to denim, it is not the same fabric and is distinctive in the way it’s woven.
Okay, gentlemen. Get ready to expand your vocabulary:
Chambray is a plain weave fabric and is woven with colored yarn in the warp (vertical thread) and white in the weft (horizontal thread). This results in a soft, smooth texture and a slightly mottled appearance.
Similar to chambray, denim is also woven with dyed yarn in the warp/vertical and white in the weft/horizontal, but denim is woven with a twill construction as opposed to a plain weave. This means the threads in the chambray fabric are woven one over the other, while the denim’s vertical threads go over two horizontal threads before going under one.
Still tracking with us?
Due to the difference in weaving techniques, the underside of chambray is very similar to the face side; meanwhile, you’ll notice the underside of denim is normally much lighter than the front side of the fabric.
So, what is chambray? It is not just lightweight denim. Although denim and chambray can resemble each other and can each be found in both lightweight and heavyweight styles, they are different fabrics altogether.
Be sure to check out our line of great men’s shirts -- built with rugged, wearable fabric (chambray or otherwise).