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What Are Velvet Fabrics

Velvet is a very distinctive textile made using specialized techniques. This is a fabric characterized by its downy surface and soft dense pile formed by thousands of short cut yarns. The underside of the fabric by contrast, is a flat plain weave.

Traditionally, velvets were a highly treasured and expensive fabric reserved only for the wealthy elite. Fortunately today through industrial and automated manufacturing processes, velvets are more widely accessible.

Characteristics of Velvet Fabrics

Velvets are woven on special looms which weave two pieces of fabric at once sharing the same pile yarns. As the loom weaves and rotates, a small blade travels back and forth between the two fabrics cutting the yarns. This cutting motion creates the soft tufts of yarns referred to as the pile, and finally two separate pieces of fabric. The fabrics are then rolled onto separate rolls.  

The final result is a luxurious and rich fabric that is soft and furry to touch. Velvets often have a glamorous sheen as they catch the light at different angles. While the pile is cut during manufacture, a distinctive pile direction is established also known as the nap – meaning that it will feel smooth in one direction. More Fabrics recommends that velvets are used for curtains and upholstery with the pile running downwards so that it feels smooth when you run your hand down the fabric. Not only does this feel softer and more comfortable, but will reduce the fabric’s ability to collect dust.

Uses For Velvet Fabrics

Use velvets in your interior to create a stylish opulent living space; for a chic upholstered sofa, for your home accessories such as cushions and throws, for romantic and grand bedroom furniture such as headboards, and supple full curtains. Velvets will help insulate your home and offer sound absorption making for comfortable and luxurious living.

Velvet Fabrics

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