Chambray Fabric

What is Chambray?

Chambray is a cotton plain-weave fabric made with a dyed warp yarn and a white filling yarn. Chambray is typically light blue in color. While it may look like denim, chambray is lighter and is woven differently. It has a softer texture than denim and is thinner in construction. Chambray is perfect for spring and summer tops, jumpsuits, and dresses. 

Chambray dates to the mid-1500s, and was once synonymous with “cambric,” another lightweight plain weave fabric made in the French town of Cambrai. “Chambray” comes from the English spelling of Cambrai. In early twentieth-century United States, many laborers wore denim pants and chambray shirts, which led to the term “blue collar.”

When Should I Wear Chambray?

Today, chambray has become a very common fabric for all kinds of clothing, from men’s and women’s shirting to lightweight summer dresses. You can even find chambray ties. Because chambray is made with cotton, it will keep you cool in dry heat and humidity. Chambray often comes in a higher thread count, which means it’s a finer weave and a more breathable fabric. Stylist Tip: Chambray has a similar look to denim so you can get the look without feeling weighed down.

Maintaining Chambray

Because chambray is typically 100% cotton, it will soften well with every wash cycle. To avoid shrinkage, wash with cold water and tumble dry on the low setting.

Does Chambray Wrinkle?

Chambray fabric does wrinkle easily, and it should be pressed with a hot iron (on the cotton setting) and steam. For more tips on how to release wrinkles without an iron, click here.

Is Chambray Easy to Clean?

If your chambray item is 100% cotton, it will be easier to remove stains from, and it releases odor more easily in the wash.

Click here for more cleaning tips

Chambray vs Denim

Chambray is often mistaken for denim because of its similar weave: a blue warp and a white weft woven together. But while denim is sturdy and can be stiff, chambray is the opposite: lightweight and airy with a softer feel. This makes chambray a perfect summer fabric. We love combining these two iconic American fabrics to achieve unique, fashionable look.

Common Use:

  • Clothing
  • Accessories

Other Types of Cotton