If you are looking for a way to add both elegance and color to a room you are decorating, you may want to take a look at velvet. The soft and silky cloth gives any room a regal look and it holds color very well. There are a multitude of velvet's, and knowing a bit about each kind can help you know which one is right for you.
How Velvet is Made
Velvet is made by weaving yarn together between two layers of backing. The fabric is then split down the middle, so that there are two perfectly matching pieces of fabric. Technically, velvet can be made from any type of yarn.
History of Velvet
Around 2000 BC velvet like fabrics made from silk and linen began to make an appearance in Egypt. It wasn’t until around 400 BC that the Chinese developed pile weaves that resemble today’s velvet. Eventually, the soft and silky fabric gained popularity in the Middle East and was used by the best weavers. Looming technology improved in the renaissance period and velvet started being used more frequently, especially in Italy and Japan.
Velvet during the renaissance period was woven with intricate patterns, and it was made of silk. Velvet weaving was a respected skill and weaving techniques were closely guarded secrets. Pretty soon the fabric was popular amongst the wealthiest classes. The weavers became quite wealthy themselves and they were considered respected artists. Families started using velvet in their family crests. It stayed just as popular through the Napoleonic era.
Different Types of Velvet
There are several different ways of making velvet. The look and feel of a particular piece has to do with the type of thread and height of the pile.
This velvet uses cut and uncut loops to create a pattern in the pile.
Crushed velvet is formed when it is pressed down into certain patterns or twisting the cloth when it is wet.
Solid or Plain Velvet
In this case a pile covers the entire piece of cloth and there is no pattern woven into it.
This sturdy velvet comes from the hair of Angora goats. It is great for upholstery, because of its weight. It is often comprised of piles of different heights, which form a pattern. It creates a look of opulence and warmth.
Selecting the Best Velvet
If you have children, pets or even if you just tend to be a bit of a klutz, you will want to select velvet that is made from a fabric that is easy to clean. Velvet can get out of shape quickly, so it is important to find a type of material that can be steam cleaned regularly.
If you are decorating a bedroom for a man, it may be your first inclination to avoid using velvet, as its bold colors and soft feel have made the fabric popular for women’s clothing. However, velvet comes in a multitude of colors and piles. You can get a sofa with royal red velvet upholstery or one with a soft pastel or grey color. Be sure to ask the furniture shop employees about your upholstery options. A good shop will be staffed with people who know which fabrics go best with which pieces of furniture.
Velvet can add light, warmth and class to any room. Shopping around is the key to finding the best fabric for you.