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How Velvet Fabric is Made?

by 顺之 聂 07 Oct 2023

What is velvet made of? Is it natural or not? How velvet fabrics is made by the textile industry? Do you have these kinds of questions about velvet fabrics in mind when touching this special fabric? Velvet is a dense fabric with a tufted outer texture and a smooth inner side. Distinctive features are visual iridescence, formed by changing the direction of the pile, as well as in bright light. It has always been synonymous with power. Velvet is associated with luxury and nobility. Soft, with a pile surface, the material reminds us of social gatherings, royal balls, and red carpets.

Today it is called the king of fabrics, and a couple of centuries ago it was called the fabric of kings because velvet clothing could only be worn by representatives of the privileged class. It is used for sewing evening dresses, and suits, both male and female. The exquisite interior often contains velvet elements in the form of lambrequins, drapes, furniture upholstery, book bindings, and even drapery ceilings. These interiors are truly royal. The nobility is not just in appearance but in the sense of touch. This fabric is characterized by the fact that it creates a beautiful iridescent range when changing the direction and movement of light. Things sewn from tufted fabric are characterized by density combined with softness.

They were inaccessible to ordinary mortals because of their high cost. Today, velvet has become more and more common, so many people can afford to buy items made of this material.

What is Velvet Fabric?

The word " velvet" conjures up jewels laid out on soft decorative cushions, carriages, dresses with corsets, old portraits, golden thrones, and heavy canopies over beds. The word is associated with luxury, beauty, and neglect: velvet season, velvet skin. The concept has a huge impact on human consciousness: velvet tree (in botany), velvet revolution (bloodless, peaceful), and black velvet (a way to test the quality of blades for safety razors). It is used to make luxury goods, clothing, home textiles, and furniture upholstery. This is a soft, delicate, noble material, which has not lost its appeal and high status for centuries.

Velvet is originally a silk fabric with a thick, pulled, or cut pile of small height. The base of the material is made of plain or twill weave. The characteristic of this luxurious fabric is as follows: on one side the fabric has a soft pile up to 5 mm long. The fabric is made of all natural silk, but impurities can be added to the composition to reduce the cost of the final product.

Velvet is natural, most often based on cotton, less often silk, and very rarely has a base of wool. Or synthetic. And also with various additives, such as cotton+ modal (synthetic fiber) or cotton with silk, cotton with elastane. Velvet with the addition of elastane is used for sewing figure-hugging products. It made of mixed fibers is well draped, it is good to use for sewing clothes with soft folds.

For dressy and evening wear velvet with dusting, as well as velvet on chiffon are effective. If you do not want their velvet clothes to visually increase the figure, do not dress in them from head to toe. The worst choice for this occasion would be a floor-length dress. Generalizing, we can say that this fabric is suitable for outfits, softly encircling the figure with a minimum number of seams and darts.

The long history of velvet speaks not only of the unique appearance of the fabric but also of its highly practical characteristics.

Pros of velvet material:
Does not cause allergies (if made of natural fibers);
Aesthetic, attractive, and expensive appearance;
Dense, soft, and comfortable to touch;
Well absorbs moisture, allows air to pass through and does not electrify;
Retains its positive qualities for a long time and does not deteriorate;
Holds its shape well, and does not shrink or deform.

Cons of velvet fabric include:
Long drying time;
Difficulty in processing;
Unstable to UV rays;
Tendency to accumulate dust.
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A Brief History of Velvet

Some historians attribute the technique of making velvet to the Chinese, others to the weavers of ancient India. Whatever the case, it came to Europe from the East in the 12th century. Byzantine and Arabian velvet was exported, but the demand for it was huge, and soft, delicate, and beautifully draped fabric was quickly appreciated. Initially, it was made exclusively of silk, which was worth its weight in gold. Therefore, only monarchs could afford such expensive fabrics, and of course, this fabric became a symbol of luxury.

In 1247 in Venice, local weavers made an unusually beautiful velvet on a silk base with gold thread. This fabric had a rather labor-intensive production, and expensive dyes were used. Venetian velvet received the status of the most prestigious fabric. Then the weavers of Genoa, Florence, and Milan began to produce this luxurious fabric.

In the fourteenth century, Italy produced velvet in a variety of colors. It was extremely popular, and in the late Gothic and Renaissance periods patterned velvet appeared. The designs were often created by famous artists. During the Baroque period, multicolored of this fabric appeared. Royalty and court nobility, the highest hierarchs of the church made festive robes of velvet, their costumes were decorated with gold and silver, pearls, and precious stones. The richest people could afford velvet cloaks, belts, and horse blankets marked with heraldic symbols. All secular nobility tried to emphasize their dignity and high social status, at least with a velvet hat.

Every family kept velvet robes and passed them on from generation to generation. Often in wills it was mentioned after real estate, before jewelry and money. The richest and most noble not only wore this luxurious fabric, but also upholstered furniture and draped walls and even military tents and funeral wagons. Gradually, the production of velvet in France expanded, but the demand for it did not decrease, velvet garments were expensive, vain dandies were ruined, and expensive clothes were bought. The richest reserves of this fabrics were in Italy.

In 1543, velvet tried to be banned in France, because even the richest nobles would buy it until they broke. For some time, this fabric was the privilege of royal families. Queen Elizabeth I, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles VII, and many other historical figures are depicted in the paintings of painters in exquisite velvet clothes.

But still, centuries later, in the early 20th century velvet left Olympus fashion. It was replaced by a democratic material – knitwear. It was seen as a vestige. But in the 20s, thanks to designer Paul Poiret, luxury fabrics were again in demand. The position of velvet was reinforced by Coco Chanel, who suggested that fashionistas wear velvet jackets.

Velvet gives feelings of happiness and warmth. It will not leave the podium, continuing its triumphal march, as it did hundreds of years ago. To make velvet things look relevant now, use only one closet item in the image and combine it with democratic things (jeans, sneakers).

How is Velvet Fabric Made?

The most valuable varieties of velvet are made of natural silk - the same fabrics were supplied to European rulers centuries ago. More affordable options contain cotton, viscose, wool, synthetic fibers. The detailed composition of the manufacturer is obliged to indicate on the label.

There are two main methods of manufacturing velvet (as well as other fabrics with pile).

Cut - two independent cloths of twill or plain weave are joined together by thread, and then the binding fibers are cut. You get a smooth on the underside of the fabric and a fluffy, "mossy" front side.

Looped - loops are pulled out of the knitted fabric, which are also cut. The result is a dense, soft fabric with exquisite shine and shimmer.

A "combined" variant is possible, such velvet is called "Ciselé" (Ciselé).

Velvet fabric obtained by any of the described methods, dyed and decorated with embroidery, embossing, as well as printed pattern or ornament. Velvet fibers are mixed with the pile of different textures of fabrics. So you get suede - artificial leather, velour - analog of leather, soft and one side and smooth on the other, plush - a material with a shaggy long pile, corduroy - a fabric with a fleecy welt.

Velvet is used to make accessories and clothing, household items and home textiles: decorative pillows, stoles, drapes and tablecloths, canopies and bedspreads, as well as furniture upholstery and jewelry. In jewelry stores, jewels are laid out on a velvet base, as this material softly reflects light, favorably emphasizing the merits of jewelry made of gold, silver or platinum. In the theater art and film industry velvet material plays an important role in the creation of historical images. It is used to make costumes and decorations.

Velvet pile direction: which side is the "right" side ?

When describing velvet, the word "pile", meaning "pile", is often used. When choosing velvet or calculating the amount of material needed, it is important to remember that there is a "pile direction" and you can only cut in one direction. If this rule is not observed, the details cut without taking into account the pile direction will differ in color saturation, and sometimes even in shades.

How to determine the direction of the pile?

It is simple. It is enough to run your hand over the velvet. The direction in which the pile easily lies down, forming a smooth surface, and will be the main one. If, when you run your hand over the material, you feel the resistance of the pile, it means that this is the direction "against the pile". Velvet is usually woven "against the pile". But to get more saturated colors can cut and against. The main thing is to respect the direction. "Playing with the direction of the pile is only possible in the case of a design that takes this feature into account.

What Different Types of Velvet Fabric are There?

Depending on the raw materials used:

1. Velvet can be made of different types of fibers, the most expensive of which is silk. At present, "silk" velvet is considered to be that which consists of natural silk fibers (base) and artificial fibers of viscose (lint).

2. Cotton can also used to make this luxurious fabric. Cotton fibers are more affordable than silk fibers, so the result is no less luxurious and, at the same time, not so expensive fabric. Sometimes a small percentage of synthetic fiber elastane is added to give the fabric a certain degree of elasticity.

3. Synthetic. It can be recognized by its bright light. Especially valued is marbled velvet, which is composed of polyester and elastane. It gives beautiful optical effects when the light changes. It does not look flashy, but strict and restrained. Therefore, clothing made of it, as well as a costume crepe, is suitable for any age.

4. Blended. Synthetic fibers are added to natural fibers. Good reviews were received for stretching with elastane. This type is often chosen by young people. Outfits due to the addition are tight, beautifully emphasizing the contours of the body.

In addition to the division by composition, velvet is differentiated by the type of fabric. There are many varieties:

1. Mother-of-pearl velvet. This velvet is rightly considered one of the most expensive materials due to the natural silk in its composition, due to which has a peculiar shimmer.

2. Chiffon velvet is a sophisticated material with a pattern and a translucent base. Its Panbarchat variety is characterized by a silk sheen.

3. Bagheera – a dense fabric used in the manufacture of evening dresses. This kind is quite durable and coarse.

4. Eraser or semibarhat – a material with a longitudinal scar on the basis of natural silk. In its composition, the synthetic thread can also be found.

5. Velvet-moire (crèche) - velvet with the effect of crumpled fabric due to the different lengths of the pile.

6. Gofre - Embossed fabric in stripes 7. Stretchy velvet – stretchy fabric with the addition of spandex or lycra.

8. Devore – also a type of velvet fabric on a silk base with the addition of viscose threads, allowing the production of fabric with patterns on the surface.

9. Lyon- a dense heavy fabric with the addition of artificial synthetic is used in sewing curtains.
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