Destinctive Corduroy Characteristics: Smell

Figure 1.--"The Scouter" magazine in July 1930 addressed the question of smells associated with cord shorts. The caption read, "Our artist is certainly blessed with a good imagination. We do not, in fact, employ any fearsome beast to test our cord shorts for smell--we do not need to! Apart from the unpleasantness, smell means that clay or size filling, which disappears with the first wash, has been used in finishing the cloth. OUR CORDUEOY SHORTS ARE PURE CLOTH AND NOTHING ELSE, and so will was and wear indefinitely. We are proud iof our kit, but regard them as our really star line." Click on the image for another view of The Scouter Testing Department.

We have noticed some reports, primarily from our British readers that corduroy garments had a destinctive smell. One Irish boy recalls in the 1910s that he was teased unmercifully by English boys because his corduroy suit smaelled bad when it got wet. [Bill Naughton, Saintly Billy.] We also note that The Scouter magazine in the 1930s recognized te smell problem for its line of cord shorts. They indicated that it was the result of the "clay or size filling" used in finishing the cloth and disappears after the first wash. [The Scouter, July, 1930.]

Christopher Wagner

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Created: April 6, 2002
Last updated: April 6, 2002