Difference Between Ivory and Ecru

By: | Updated: Jul-10, 2021
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Ivory and ecru are two different types of fabrics that are commonly used in clothing. Both are made from the tusks of animals, but there are some differences between the two. For example, ivory is made from the tusks of elephants, while ecru is made from the tusks of deer. Both are strong and durable, but some people have no idea what makes ivory and ecru so different. So what are the other differences between ivory and ecru?

The article will focus on ivory and ecru, the difference between ivory and ecru, and how they are used in clothing.

Summary Table:

Ivory Ecru
Is an off-white with a tint of yellow and a light color Is brownish with a tint of pink and more of a dark but soft color
Is made from animal tusk Is made from plant fiber


Difference Between Ivory and Ecru

What Is Ivory?

Ivory is the tusk of an elephant. The tusk of an elephant is very hard and contains a substance called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic tubules that run throughout the ivory. Ivory has been used for thousands of years for decoration and art, and it was also used in early dentistry because it is so hard. Nowadays, we do not use ivory from elephants because it is illegal to do so, but some older pieces may still be around. Instead, we use an artificial substance that looks like ivory but does not come from an animal. It is called “bone china” or “porcelain”. Bone china and porcelain are types of ceramics that are made by mixing bone ash into the clay during the manufacturing process. This gives the bone china or porcelain a whiter color than regular ceramic products. Bone china and porcelain are usually used for things like plates and cups, because they are strong enough to hold up to regular use, but not as strong as glass or metal products would be.

What Is Ecru?

Ecru is a color that comes from the French word écru, which means “raw” or “unbleached”. It is a pale yellowish-beige color. The word “ecru” is used to describe fabrics that are this color. In terms of color, both ivory and ecru are commonly used in clothing, furniture, and other decorative items. The color is considered to be a neutral color, meaning that it does not stand out as much as other colors.

Ivory Vs. Ecru:

There are many differences between Ivory and Ecru. Here are some of them:

1. Color

Ivory is lighter than ecru. It is an off-white color. It has a tint of yellow in it. On the other hand, ecru is brownish and has a hint of pink in it. It is also darker than ivory.

2. Source

Ivory comes from the tusks of elephants and walruses whereas ecru comes from the fibers of plants like flax, cotton, jute, etc. Ecru does not come from animals at all.

3. Fiber

The fiber used to make ivory is animal parts or hair whereas the fiber used to make ecru is plant fiber. Ecru is usually made from cotton or linen while ivory can be made with silk as well as wool fibers too depending on what the fabric will be used for and what design will be made on it (in embroidery).

4. Feel

Ivory feels warmer than ecru. It is coarser and has a rougher texture than ecru. Ecru feels smoother and silkier.

5. General Uses

Both ivory and ecru are used in clothing like dresses, shirts, coats, etc. They are also used in making curtains, rugs, tablecloths, etc. However, it is more common to use ivory in embroidery.

6. Price

Ivory is a little less expensive than ecru and is usually used in more commercial clothing. The more luxurious the clothing is, the more likely it is to be made with ecru. The price of ivory depends on the type of animal it comes from. Elephant ivory is more expensive than walrus ivory. Usually, the price range of ivory is $10 to $25 per yard and $10 to $30 per yard for ecru.

7. Availability

Ivory is not as available as ecru. This is because ivory is banned in many countries because of the illegal trade of ivory. Ecru is readily available and used widely in the textile industry.

8. Use in Men’s Clothing

Both ivory and ecru are used in men’s clothing like suits, shirts, pants, etc. The main difference between the two is that ivory is more commonly used in formal clothing like suits and ties whereas ecru is used in casual clothing like polo shirts and t-shirts.

9. Use in Women’s Clothing

Both ivory and ecru are also used in women’s clothing. However, ecru is used more in formal clothing like dresses and coats whereas ivory is used more in casual clothing like blouses, skirts, etc.

10. Color Coordination

The best color coordination with ivory is ecru. They go well together and look very nice. On the other hand, ecru goes well with browns, golds, yellows, and other light colors.

11. How to Clean

It is very easy to clean ivory. Just wipe it with a damp cloth and let it dry. You can also use mild soap if needed. On the other hand, ecru is more delicate and needs to be handled with care.

12. Strength

Ivory is stronger than ecru. It is a bit more durable and can withstand more wear and tear. Since ecru is made from plant fibers, it is not as strong as ivory.

13. Fading

Since ivory is closer to white, it is more prone to fading than ecru. However, both ivory and ecru are very prone to fading. They can fade easily if they are exposed to sunlight for a long time. So, if you want your ivory or ecru clothes to stay bright and not fade, it is best to store them in a dark place.

14. Pilling

Ivory is less likely to pill than ecru. If it does pill, it will be a lot less than ecru. Pilling is the formation of small balls on the surface of a fabric.

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