In fashion, no matter how much you pay for a particular garment, you always get value by wearing velvet. Velvet is a fabric that always looks regal, lovely, rich and luscious, be it a velvet skirt, blouse, dress, jacket or shoes. Velvet rules!
Velvet is a type of woven fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving the material a distinctive soft feel. The word velvety actually means “smooth like velvet.” Velvet can be made from either natural fibers or man made synthetic fibers. No matter which type of velvet you wrap yourself in, your velvet outfit will always be a hit.
Velvet is woven on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of the material at the same time. The two pieces are then cut apart to create the pile effect, and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls. This process made velvet expensive to make before industrial power looms became available, and well made velvet remains a fairly costly fabric even today.
Velvet can be made from several different kinds of fibers, the most expensive being silk. Much of the velvet today sold as silk velvet is actually a mix of rayon and silk. Velvet made entirely from silk is rare and usually has market prices of several hundred United States dollars per yard. Cotton can also be used to make velvet, as well as linen, mohair and wool.
The fabulous fashion value of wearing velvet!
Velvet Fun Fact: Due to velvet’s unusual softness and luxurious appearance, as well as its high cost of production, velvet fabric is associated with royalty and nobility. Velvet was first introduced in Baghdad, and in the Mamluk era, Cairo was the world’s largest producer of velvet. This gorgeous fabric was then exported to Venice, where it spread through Europe. In 1399, King Richard II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed “in velveto.”
Velvet clothing looks simply magnificent and magnetic in all colors, but black velvet always looks regal, stunning and ravishing!
Popular Types of Velvet:
- Chiffon: Lightweight velvet on a sheer silk or rayon chiffon base.
- Cisele: Velvet where the pile uses cut and uncut loops to create a pattern.
- Crushed: Luscious velvet with a patterned appearance that is produced by either pressing the fabric down in different directions, or mechanically twisting the velvet while wet.
- Devore: Velvet treated with a caustic solution to dissolve areas of the pile.
- Embossed: A metal roller is used to heat stamp the fabric, producing a pattern.
- Hammered: Extremely lustrous, appears dappled and somewhat crushed.
- Lyons: A densely woven, still, heavier weight pile velvet used for hat and coat collars.
- Mirror: Exceptionally soft and light crushed velvet.
- Nacre: The velvet pile is woven in one or more colors and the base fabric is another color, creating a changeable, iridescent effect.
- Panne: Crushed velvet.
- Pile-on-Pile: A luxurious velvet woven with piles of differing heights to create a pattern.
- Plain: Made of cotton, plain velvet has a firm hand and can be used for many purposes.
- Utrecht: A pressed and crimped velvet.
- Velveteen: Imitation velvet, normally made of cotton or a combination of cotton and silk.
- Voided: Woven with areas of pile free ground (usually satin) forming a pattern.
- Wedding Ring: Velvets that are fine enough to be drawn through a ring.
No matter what type of velvet you prefer, every form of dainty, stunning velvet looks like the real thing!
Be runway, catwalk and camera ready when you step out in velvet so lovely and steady!
Velvet Fun Fact: The earliest sources of European artistic Italian velvets were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, which continued to send out rich velvet textures. The art was then taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the sixteenth century, Bruges attained a reputation for velvets that matched those of the great Italian cities. The soft properties of velvet, the splendid colors, the fabric being used and associated with royal and state robes, the material being fit for ecclesiastical vestments and the richness of velvet made the Italian velvets the most magnificent textures of their time.
Whether you’re attending a black tie event, a fancy dinner or stepping out in a warm gorgeous jacket in the dead of winter, dressing in the glorious fabric velvet is always a winner!
Nancy Mangano is an American beauty/fashion/style influencer, fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series. Visit Nancy on her global online fashion/style/beauty magazine Strutting in Style! at https://www.struttinginstyle.com, her Facebook page Nancy Mangano at https://www.facebook.com/nancymmangano/ Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano and her author website http://www.nancymangano.com