In 2017, the CORDURA® brand celebrated fifty unforgettable years. Five decades of non-stop progress that have seen us help shape the world of military gear, workwear, outdoor and lifestyle apparel. Fabric by fabric, setting new goals for textile performance.

Bringing durability to life, literally. Whether in urban environments, or in some of the most extreme conditions the world has to offer.

history of CORDURA®


CORDURA® fabric comes onto the scene in a decade of accelerating change and time of great excitement. The way we all lived, worked and played was being transformed – and with our nylon 6,6 fiber we were transforming the fabrics needed in response. Through advances in technology we made it possible to offer a new level of durability that would become the hallmark of the CORDURA® brand for the next fifty years.

history of CORDURA®


The enhanced abrasion resistance and tear strength of CORDURA® fabrics made them the ideal choice for workwear – but pioneering brands in the outdoor activities and adventure market were also quick to see the advantages offered by the enhanced abrasion resistance and tear strength. Names that include Kelty, Kletterwerks, Jansport and Eastpak began using them in their backpacks, taking the CORDURA® brand into some pretty wild places and to new heights. The technical pace was picking up, too. During the 70s, CORDURA® brand fabrics based on fully dyeable 1000D air-jet nylon 6.6 yarns were launched - stimulating the growth of the soft sided luggage market.

people on a mountain fuled by JanSport

history of CORDURA®


By now, the CORDURA® brand was venturing out onto the city streets in many new ways, making style more able to cope with the stress of urban life. To give just one example of this, Manhattan Portage launched a collection of messenger bags that were made with durable CORDURA® fabric. (Something they’ve continued to do to this present day.)


These new applications came with the development of 1000d CORDURA® Plus fabric with twice the number of filaments, adding an improved dimension of softness in bags, packs and upholstery. 500d CORDURA® Plus fabric was also introduced – with the same denier-filament ratio and softness as 1000d, but more suitable for lighter weight gear and apparel. Helping to power these advances, the world’s first coupled single-step texturing machine was commissioned in Chattanooga, Tennessee to produce CORDURA® fabric qualifying nylon yarns.

history of CORDURA®


Beginning a long and successful collaboration, Carhartt adds CORDURA® fabric to their CORE outerwear line and launches their Carhartt Extremes range designed for the toughest types of work. The rugged durability of our fabrics is also recognised by the US military, with the introduction of 1000d textured nylon CORDURA® fabric to replace leather for lighter weight durable combat boots. We were also hard at work increasing our capacity and technical capabilities.

These included the launch of CORDURA®Plus Colorlock™solution-dyed nylon (SDN) yarn, for enhanced color consistency and fade resistance targeted for outdoor UV. There were also new production facilities in the US and Canada – and one in the UK to manufacture qualifying nylon yarns suitable for CORDURA® branded fabrics in order to meet growing demand in the European market.

CORDURA® fabrics

history of CORDURA®


The CORDURA® brand has always been conscious of the need to behave with responsibility on issues such as sustainability – and this was reflected in the introduction of our CORDURA® Cares Program℠. Put simply, this is expressed by our belief that: Sustainability Begins With Products That Last.™. Long-lasting products need to be replaced less often which reduces waste and is good for the natural world.


This is why we launched our Ecomade fabric, made with recycled polyester yarns. And there’s so much else to say about this decade, so let’s briefly reel off some other facts. INVISTA launches CORDURA® Ballistic fabrics for luggage market using high tenacity 6,6 yarns. U.S. military adopts newly developed solution-dyed nylon textured CORDURA® fabric with inherent near infrared signature reduction capability for fabric and webbing. US Marine Corps adopts 725 CORDURA® fabric for use in the New Improved Load Bearing (ILBE) rucksack.

CORDURA® Baselayer fabric is launched to provide soldiers and law enforcement officers with comfortably durable, No Melt No Drip protection. INVISTA launches Klopman Vantage fabric featuring CORDURA® brand technology.

And among many awards, Sea to Summit’s “Ultra Sil Dry Sack” featuring CORDURA® Ultralite fabric wins Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, and Granite Gear’s Nimbus Meridian backpack featuring CORDURA® Lite fabric wins Outdoors Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award. On the business front, subsidiaries of Koch Industries Inc acquire INVISTA from Du Pont, including the CORDURA® brand and all its manufacturing assets. And looking to the future, we sponsor Helen Thayer as CORDURA® brand ambassador.

tent made with CORDURA®

history of CORDURA®


CORDURA® fabric helps to stylishly blur the lines between street wear and workwear with yet more innovations. CORDURA® duck fabrics are launched based on an intimate blend of cotton and INVISTA 420 6,6 nylon fiber, giving toughness without sacrificing softness. Penfabric Malaysia introduces the first collection of CORDURA® NYCO workwear fabrics. Combining comfort and durability these fabrics are based on intimate blend yarns made with INVISTA 420 6,6 staple nylon fiber.

CORDURA® workwear

A new range of mesh knit CORDURA® AFT fabrics in both polyester and nylon 6,6 featuring enhanced abrasion and snagging resistance are introduced by Tiong Liong Corporation, Taiwan. CORDURA® Lite Plus fabrics are developed to offer greater than 12% improvement in tensile strength compared to original Type 725 CORDURA® Lite fabric. These new technologies are recognised by industry accolades that include the FabricLink Network ‘Textile Innovation Award’ for CORDURA® Naturalle, and a first ever win for a CORDURA® fabric in the ISPO Textrends Awards.

history of CORDURA®


As we celebrated our 50th anniversary, we looked back on a long history defined by working closely with innovative and enduring brands and mills globally - as well as some of the most respected organizations in the world. People who’ve helped us sculpt and evolve our fabric technologies. People who’ve pushed the boundaries of textile solutions in product design and development. People whose experience, passion and drive have helped us build the CORDURA® brand. Now, as we look to the future, we’d love you to help us write the next pages.

Want to take the next step? 

We Live Durable™ every single day, and love every minute of it. Ready to join us as a CORDURA® brand partner?