Ah velvet. That woven fabric easily recognizable by its short dense even pile that is so soft to the touch. Still chic after hundreds of years, the textile originated in the Far East in the 14th century and grew significantly in production by the 16th century in Italy.
Historically, velvet was created by skilled weavers with silk for nobility and for the church, its presence was a symbol of power and wealth. To make it, warps are drawn over rods to create loops then the rods are removed. The resulting loops are cut into a dense pile that is soft to the touch and changes in various light as it is draped or folded. Variations of the weave include crushed velvet, burnout, voided, embossed, and pile on pile, among others.
In modern times, velvet textiles are made from a variety of materials. Silk is shinier and softer but also the most expensive. Cotton and wool are used for more affordable versions and most inexpensive velvets are made from synthetics such as polyester. Velvet is one of those fabrics that begs to be touched and brings to mind a famous George Castanza quote, “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”
Velvet makes its appearance this time of year because it’s so soft and warm against the skin although it’s a fabric desirable in interiors all year long. These twin gray sofas are perfection in a space decorated for the holidays featured in House & Home.
A velvet headboard is one way to bring elegance to a bedroom, tufted or with nailhead trim, it’s a classic touch year round!
Velvet is always appropriate in the dining room where it adds a dose of formality and so comfortable it encourages family and guests to linger longer.