The Difference Between Chambray & Denim

Fashion Questions & Answers

If you enjoy fashion, it is a good idea to also learn about fabrics.

What is the difference between chambray fabric and denim fabric?

Hard to tell the difference from the front of the fabric.  Easy to notice when looking at the back side of the fabric. Typically, you will notice a lighter color to the underside of a denim fabric, whereas the underside of chambray will appear much more similar to its face side.  Both denim & chambray can be produced in heavy or light weight versions.

Chambry verse denim

Chambray is a plain weave.

Chambray was originally a linen-finished gingham cloth with a white weft and a colored warp, producing a mottled appearance.  It is now also produced with cotton.

Chambray, though the same type of fabric as cambric, chambray typically has a colored warp and a white weft, though it could be made from any color as you may wish, in the warp, and also in the filling; only have them differ from each other.

If you don't fully understand the meaning of warp and weft, you can try the warp and weft definition pages.

Denim is made with a colored yarn in the warp and white in the weft, but is woven in a twill weave construction.

The chambray’s warp and weft threads will alternate one over the other, while denim’s warp thread will go over two threads in the weft before going under one.

You can learn more by reading our denim shirts and chambray shirts pages.

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