Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fabrics: Velvet

Traditionally, velvet is associated with nobility. King Richard II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed in velveto in 1399.
The earliest sources of European artistic velvet's were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, which continued to send out rich velvet textures. Later, the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the sixteenth century, Bruges attained a reputation for velvet's that were not inferior to those of the great Italian cities.
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 achievable. Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns.
I have yet to use velvet but, to me it is an amazing fabric, as it can be made with many types of fibers, most commonly silk which gives it a very lustrous finish. Cotton, a more breathable fiber, can also be used but results with a less lustrous sheen to the fabric.  I think I would use Chiffon when sewing a dress because it seems very light weight and can be woven with a silk or rayon chiffon base, making it very soft and flowing. Velvet would be an amazing fabric to work with for costumes for plays, because it seems to make structurally wonderful pieces. Overall this is a beautiful fabric.

Types of Velvet:

Wedding Ring

*Types of Velvet for different wear

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