Also known as needlecord and pinwale. It is a corded weave fabric with very fine ribs, hardwearing and useful for piping a less sturdy upholstery or loose cover fabric, for all upholstery, curtains and for the basic and essential furnishings – meaning that it’s a robust and good looking fabric rather than a rare and elegant one. All cords are classified by the amount of wales per inch or cm.
At it’s finest, pincord is barely distinguishable from a good brushed cotton or a fine, very soft velvet. It handles beautifully and being made of cotton has all the characteristics that makes cotton such versatile and well rounded fibre.
Fine pincord is not often found in interior furnishings collections, so when we want to use it we usually buy it from dressmaking suppliers. It may be woven in a slightly narrower width than we are used to with furnishings fabrics, and it may not have the weight and rub test we are used to either, however it is inexpensive and even if it won’t take the wear of tough upholstery it handles and drapes well, and is eminently suited to curtains, blinds, cushions, window seats, bean bags etc.
All needle cords and pincords are tightly woven, the best quality of which are an extremely good option for blackout type blinds and curtains, especially in the deeper colours that, with a thick interlining and a good lining, are pretty dense and often make complete blackout. Even in the mid to light colours, and we’ve used ochre yellows, light blues and sage greens for blinds and curtaining in games rooms and bedrooms, not much light can get through once it’s been interlined and lined.
The weave itself makes pin cord a good candidate for joining – it’s quite easy to follow the ribs, even when they are fine. So for borders and edging and to create multi-striped curtains, pincord is always worth considering.