Velvet is one of the pile fabrics that fibers are densely planted in the surface of the fabric. It was used to be made of silk only but nowadays, it is made of cotton, wool, nylon and rayon. It was widely used in medieval times for religious clothing, costumes and interior decoration of kings and nobles. Although it is still treated as a high-quality fabric, it is being used more commonly – for a cloth of women or children, hats, couches, and bedding.
The length of the velvet pile is not more than 1/8 inch (about 0.3 to 1 mm). A longer case than this is called a plush. It’ll be explained in details later in the section of types of velvet below.
Velvet consists of three types: foundation warp, foundation weft, and additional warp. (warp = vertical yarn, weft = horizontal yarn) In the weaving process of creating a pile, if the loop is cut consecutively, it is called a cut velvet, if not, an uncut velvet.
It feels soft and warm. The material is densely woven making the textile sturdy but also stretchy. With a change of light, a variety of different shades can be illuminated while also having a nice gloss. However due to its nature, it can be dented if it is used only with one side.
Types of Velvet
- Chiffon Velvet: High-quality of silk velvet that is light and soft. It has a short and dense pile.
- Rayon Velvet: A slightly stiff, high-grade velvet with a short pile length.
- Brocade Velvet: A velvet that has a pattern.
- Velveteen: Cotton velvet. Denser and less wrinkle than other velvets.
- Plush: The length of pile is more than 1mm. So, it’s longer and softer than common velvets. The density of pile is less but with this, you can make imitation fur by using heat and pressure and transforming fluff in various forms.
- Stain – By using a soft cloth with detergent dilute with its five times amount of water, wipe off the contaminated area. Then, wipe off again the detergent with a towel soaked in water, and dry it. While wiping, you should first wipe towards the direction of the pile, and then do it towards the opposite direction.
- Dust - Rub it in the same direction with a special brush, mesh, or gauze and brush lightly. When using a vacuum, do it like you pushes towards one direction. And for the one that has a longer pile, use a thinner and shorter nozzle.
- When it’s pressed – Holding the hairy sides face to face, sandwich a towel between them and steam the fabric 2-3cm apart.
- Ironing – When ironing, it’s better to use a leftover cloth rather than iron directly onto the velvet fabric. Ironing directly may cause damage to the velvet fabric.
By Sue Kim