What Are Bengaline Trousers?

Bengaline trousers are a perfect blend between comfort and style. Although most bengaline trousers have the tailored, polished look you'd expect from formal pants, they are comfortable enough to wear around the house.

If you're looking to switch up your wardrobe with comfortable clothing, here's what you need to know about bengaline trousers.

What Are Bengaline Trousers?

Bengaline trousers are sleek, fitted pants. They usually fit closely through the hip and skim the rest of your legs. Although bengaline trousers fit closely to the skin, they are not tight by any means and give you plenty of breathing room.

You can get bengaline trousers in a few different lengths and fits. The most common variety fits slim throughout the leg before cutting off at the ankle or just above it. You can also get trousers that flare out slightly at the bottom, just like regular office pants. Finally, there are even bengaline culottes that cut off just below the knee.

Most bengaline trousers are tailored similarly to other office trousers. They fit closely to the hips without being too tight and have similar sleek detailing, such as a thick waistband, shallow pockets, and belt loops.

However, the big difference between bengaline trousers and regular ones is the fabric. Bengaline trousers are made of a special fabric that has much more give than wool or other materials. While bengaline fabric is stretchy and comfortable to wear, it requires more care than other elastic fabrics.

What Is Bengaline Fabric Made of?

Bengaline fabric is a blended fabric made of several different materials. It can contain fibers from synthetic and natural fabrics, including: rayon, nylon, polyester, and lycra, as well as cotton and wool. Which gives bengaline trousers their comfort and flexibility. 

Traditionally, bengaline was made with natural fibers such as silk. This fabric was trendy in the 19th century when Europeans started exporting it from South Asia. Modern innovations such as synthetic materials have made bengaline even stretchier and more comfortable.

If bengaline can be made out of so many different materials, you may be wondering how a fabric gets classified as bengaline. The defining characteristic of this fabric is the weaving technique. Bengaline fabric is woven in a cross rib that allows the fabric to stretch without losing its shape.

What Is the Difference Between Bengaline and Ponte?

Bengaline fabric is somewhat similar to ponte fabric. Both are stretchy while retaining their firmness and durability.

However, the most significant difference is in how they are made. Ponte is a knit fabric that gets its durability and thickness from the double-knit technique. By contrast, bengaline is a woven fabric made using a cross-rib method.

There is also a difference in their fits. Some tailors say that bengaline has crisper lines, while ponte has a looser, drapier fit. Bengaline fabric also has more vertical stretch.

If you are looking for a crisper, more tailored look, go for bengaline trousers. If you want a looser, more comfortable fit, then ponte pants are your go-to.

How Do You Clean Bengaline Fabric?

Bengaline fabric is fussier than other materials, so you need to be careful when cleaning your trousers.

A general rule of thumb is to avoid any heat when maintaining your bengaline trousers. Hang dry them instead of tossing them in the dryer, and be very careful if you have to iron them.

The cleaning instructions may depend on the exact makeup of the bengaline fabric that you are using. You can machine wash most bengaline fabric items; just check any instructions that come with the garment first. Wash on a low-temperature setting as high temperatures can damage this fabric.

You can dry clean some bengaline fabrics. However, if the fabric you are using has rayon, plastic, or another PVC-based material, do not dry clean it as that could damage it.

Is Bengaline Fabric Breathable?

The breathability of bengaline depends on its exact fiber content. Bengaline trousers with a high percentage of rayon (at least 30%) are very breathable and stretchy. By contrast, bengaline fabric that has more nylon or natural materials may not be as breathable.

If breathability is important to you, check the materials before you buy. If you're looking for a good pair of trousers to wear in the summer, be sure to get some with a high rayon content.

Does Bengaline Fabric Shrink?

If you do not take care of bengaline fabric properly, it will shrink.

Heat is the primary cause of shrinkage in bengaline fabric. That is why you should pre-wash your bengaline garments. Pre-washing is a washing machine cycle that only uses cold water. If your machine doesn't have this setting, turn it to the coldest possible temperature.

Your dryer could also cause the bengaline to shrink, so you can only hang dry these clothes.

Is Bengaline Fabric Stretchy?

Bengaline fabric is very stretchy and can withstand all sorts of movement without ripping or losing its form. This flexibility is why bengaline is still a popular fabric so many centuries later. Manufacturers can use it to make structured, form-fitting clothes that are still flattering to the silhouette and comfortable to wear.

Different bengaline blends may be more stretchy than others depending on the composition. Some manufacturers include Spandex fabric in their trousers for maximum comfort and flexibility. Check the labels or try on a few pairs if you are looking for a pair with ultimate stretchiness.

Bengaline trousers are a great choice if you are looking for tailored pieces that are still comfortable, thanks to the stretchy, unique nature of the fabric. To preserve your trousers for as long as possible, be sure to follow the care instructions.