Velvet

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A swatch of velvet
Yellow velvet

Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.

The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean "smooth like velvet." Velvet can be either synthetic or natural.

Composition[edit]

Velvet is woven on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of velvet 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. Velvet was expensive to make before industrial power looms became available. Velvet is difficult to clean because of its pile, but modern dry cleaning methods make cleaning more feasible. Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns.

Velvet can be made from many different kinds of fibers, traditionally silk. Velvet made entirely from silk has market prices of several hundred US dollars per yard. Cotton can also be used, though this often results in a slightly less luxurious fabric. Velvet can also be made from fibers such as linen, mohair, and wool. A cloth made by the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo from raffia is often referred to as "Kuba velvet". More recently, synthetic velvets have been developed, mostly polyester, nylon, viscose, acetate, and mixtures of different synthetics, or synthetics and natural fibers (for example viscose mixed with silk). A small percentage of spandex is sometimes added to give stretch.

History[edit]

Traditionally, velvet is associated with nobility. Velvet was introduced to Baghdad during the rule of Harun al-Rashid by Kashmiri merchants and to Al-Andalus by Ziryab. In the Mamluk era, Cairo was the world's largest producer of velvet. Much of it was exported to Venice, Al-Andalus and the Mali Empire. Musa I of Mali, the ruler of the Mali Empire, visited Cairo on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Many Arab velvet makers accompanied him back to Timbuktu. Later Ibn Battuta mentions how Suleyman (mansa) the ruler of Mali wore a locally produced complete crimson Velvet caftan on Eid. During the reign of Mehmed II, assistant cooks wore blue-coloured dresses (câme-i kebûd), conical hats (külâh) and baggy trousers (çaksir) made from Bursa velvet.[citation needed]

Velvet with Medici Arms, Florence or Venice, 1440–1500

King Richard II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed in velveto in 1399.[1]

The earliest sources of European artistic velvets were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, which continued to send out rich velvet textures. Somewhat later the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the sixteenth century, Bruges attained a reputation for velvets that were not inferior to those of the great Italian cities.

Types[edit]

Fibres[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ L W Cowrie Dictionary of British Social History Wordsworth Reference p.304 ISBN 1-85326-378-8
  2. ^ a b c d e Maitra, K.K. (2007). Encyclopaedic dictionary of clothing and textiles. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. p. 479. ISBN 9788183242059. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Free patterns - Velvet". sewingtechnology.net. 
  4. ^ a b c Schaeffer, Claire (2003). Sew Any Fabric: A Quick Reference to Fabrics from A to Z. Krause Publications. p. 129. ISBN 9781440220333. 
  5. ^ a b "Fabric Properties and Distinctions - Velvet". fabrics.net. 
  6. ^ Denny, Grace Goldena (1947). Fabrics. J. B. Lippincott Company. p. 77. "Panne or paon velvet. Finish on lightweight velvet. Pile laid flat in one direction." 
  7. ^ Phipps, Elena (2012). Looking at textiles : a guide to technical terms. Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum. p. 81. ISBN 9781606060803. 
  8. ^ Crowfoot, Elisabeth; Pritchard, Frances; Unwin, Kay Staniland ; photography by Edwin Baker ; illustrations by Christina (2006). Textiles and clothing, c.1150-c.1450 (New ed. ed.). Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell. p. 127. ISBN 9781843832393. 
  9. ^ Strong Hillhouse, Marian (1963). Dress selection and design. Macmillan. p. 156. "Chiffon velvet is also called "wedding ring velvet," because it is supposedly so light _and soft it can be pulled through a wedding ring." 

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press