Chambray is a cotton fabric similar in look to denim; although chambray is plain-woven, giving it a smoother feel than denim’s twill weave. Chambray’s weave is comprised of two parts: the typically white “weft” (the crosswise threads on a loom) and a coloured “warp” (the lengthwise threads). This technique leaves the finished product with a distinct, micro-checkered pattern that is both durable and lightweight, making it the perfect fabric for the summer months.
Ever since it originated in the French town of Cambria, the fabric has been a favourite of farmers, mechanics, and indeed all manual-laborers. Chambray is commonly thought of as a material for shirts, but it has been manipulated into nearly every article of clothing from shorts to hats. It has even been used in home goods such as pillows and quilts.