What is the difference between chambray and denim? There are probably more similarities than differences between the two, but there are some differences. Chambray and denim are types of cloth fabrics. Usually, they are both blue in color on the bolt, but color variations are available in both types. Both are coarse cloths, that is, the threads per inch in the cloths is lower than for finer, higher count fabrics such as percale. Both are made of cotton. Chambray is the lighter of the two fabrics; sort of like muslin. It is also usually light blue in color. Denim is the heavier of the two fabrics; similar to a lightweight canvas. It is usually dark blue - darker than chambray. Chambray is usually used to make long and short sleeved work shirts, while denim is usually used to make work pants or jeans. Denim is also used to make overalls, skirts, jackets, purses, shorts, pillows, and sundry other useful items that require durability from the cloth. Chambray can be used where a lighter fabric is more appropriate.