Posts Tagged ‘textile spotlight’

Textile Spotlight: Velvet

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

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.

gray velvet sofas

    

A velvet headboard is one way to bring elegance to a bedroom, tufted or with nailhead trim, it’s a classic touch year round!

gray velvet headboard

song of style

blue tufted headboard

how to decorate

gray velvet headboard

victoria hagan

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.

velvet dining chairs

 house & home

teal velvet dining chairs

landino photo 

  

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Textile Spotlight: Kilim

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Today I’m continuing the Textile Series, and this month the spotlight is on one that dates back many centuries: the kilim patterns found in floor coverings and home accessories. Kilims differ from pile rugs because they are produced through a flatweaving technique that combines various colored wefts and warp wool threads and leaves no pile.

Kilim has a fascinating history, its origins dating back to 3000 BC, many scholars believe even earlier; like tapestries, woven kilims are one of the oldest textiles in history. Kilims are referred to as “slit woven” textiles, a technique of weaving that produces sharp geometric designs and symbols. They are produced by interweaving visible weft with invisible warp strands and are most often made of wool, though cotton and hemp threads are sometimes used.

Different kilims possess cultural meanings that change by region, and the colors and designs also change depending on where they originate. Some kilims are used as prayer rugs, others for decorative purposes. The popularity of kilim is growing in the West as we look to more exotic ways to decorate our homes with textiles from across the globe.

layered kilim glitter guide

amber lewis – the glitter guide

Kilims are most often used as rugs, but also like a fabric to upholster ottomans or benches, or as a decorative pillow cover. While you can still find many suppliers of vintage rugs and pillow covers, retailers are also producing their own versions as the appeal of kilim grows.   

vintage kilim rugs at pottery barn

 

SONY DSC

 kilim rug ottoman

pottery barn / the brick house / rikki snyder via houzz

       

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