Chambray vs Denim. Is there a difference?

Is there a difference between Chambray and Denim?

Although Chambray and Denim may look similar, they are completely different in their feel and construction. Chambray is a plain weave lighter softer cotton fabric with a frosted effect produced by weaving dyed warp threads lengthwise with filler white threads crosswise, making it look similar front and back. These properties make it extremely versatile and a perfect comfort fabric for spring and summer and can be dressed up or down. This makes it an excellent choice for shirting, casual to go with your jeans and chinos, or a dressier shirt to pair with a suit or sports jacket.

Gone are the days when Chambray was typically only available in various shades of blue, now many fabric mills have added shades of tan, gray, green, lavender, and even red. In addition to that, patterns are now being printed on or even woven into the fabric. Chambray softens with every wash; however, it does crease and would require being pressed on a higher heat, with the setting on cotton.

Denim on the other hand is a sturdier cotton that is woven in a diagonal weave called a twill, where the white weft thread passes under two or more warp dyed threads, making the back of the fabric look a lot lighter than the front. Denim came to North America during the mid-nineteenth century and was used to make durable hard-wearing clothing for the working man. Since then Jeans have become as an essential garment in every person’s wardrobe. Although, 100% Cotton Denim is usually preferred because of its ability to conform to your body with every use, a two or three percent addition of a stretch element like spandex, gives the garment that added comfort level.


Other than the heavier weave popular with Jeans, Denim is available in higher thread counts as well, giving it a more finished look, making it suitable for a lighter and more comfortable shirt. It is available in a multitude of colours, including a variety of prints as well.