What Are the Different Cordura® Fabrics?
Cordura® fabric is the toughest bag-making fabric we offer at Sailrite®. It’s extremely durable, tear resistant and heavy-duty. All Cordura fabrics are treated with a polyurethane coating on the back and a water-repellent finish on the front, making these all-weather fabrics a great choice for outdoor adventuring. But how do you know which Cordura fabric to choose for your project? This blog discusses the differences and similarities between the fabric lines and helps you select the perfect one for your next DIY.
First, let’s talk about the similarities in Cordura fabrics. A huge distinguishing factor in all Cordura fabrics is that they are woven from INVISTA™ yarns. There are some Cordura copycats on the market, but only authentic Cordura products are made with INVISTA yarns. INVISTA is a manufacturer and innovator in the nylon, polyester and specialty materials industries, and its yarns are known for their high strength, resiliency and durability.
Now that we’ve discussed what all Cordura fabrics have in common and their impressive characteristics, let’s take a look at the three fabric lines we offer at Sailrite: Cordura HP, Cordura Classic and Cordura Mil-Spec.
We recommend Cordura HP fabrics as an economical option for backpacks, soft-sided luggage, pet products, outdoor gear, travel accessories, footwear and sail bags. Cordura HP is the only Cordura fabric line we offer that is 100% polyester rather than nylon. Cordura HP is unique among Cordura lines in that it is designed as an optimal print medium. You can print patterns, designs and lettering on these fabrics to really customize your project and make it something extra special and unique.
The original Cordura fabric, Cordura Classic is where it all began. We offer the most colors of this fabric line so you can really customize your projects. Sailrite stocks two weights of Cordura Classic: 500D and 1000D. The term "denier," or "D" for short, refers to the fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments used in the creation of textiles and fabrics. Therefore, Cordura Classic 500D is a lighter weight version of 1000D. Both weights of Cordura Classic are ideal for duffle bags, luggage, military gear, outdoor gear, backpacks, briefcases, protective outerwear, footwear and much more.
Cordura Mil-Spec meets United States military specifications (DTL-32439A). The fabrics are tested for colorfastness, tensile strength, water repellency and more in order to meet military standards. These fabrics come in a selection of tactical colors including browns, green, black, gray and U.S. Army camouflage. These fabrics are produced using less water, energy and CO2 emissions, creating a lighter environmental footprint and a more eco-friendly and sustainable manufacturing process.
Cordura Mil-Spec fabrics come in two weights: 500D and 1000D. As denier is a designation of fiber thickness, 500D is a lighter weight version of 1000D. However, both fabric weights have the same properties and can be used for all the same applications including duffle bags and backpacks, wallets, protective outerwear, military gear, luggage, pet beds and more. These fabrics are also Berry Amendment Compliant, which means they are completely made in the USA.
Now that you know the different qualities and characteristics of the various Cordura fabric lines, you’re ready to choose the right fabric for your DIY. If you're interested in learning more about Cordura as a brand and its long and established history in the textile industry, be sure to check out our very informative blog "What Is Cordura Fabric?" (300418XHT).
Still have questions about which Cordura fabric collection is best for your project? We’re always here to help. You can call, email or online chat with us if you need help picking a fabric. And don’t forget to show us what you made! You can post photos of your bags in the comments section below, or tag us on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok using #Sailrite. Happy sewing!
Footnote: This blog was updated in February 2020 to include mention of Cordura Classic 500D.