August 20, 2012

Monday's Lesson 101: Velvet

So maybe I get a little carried away and have said once or twice before that this is my ‘favourite pattern’, my ‘favourite colour’ or my ‘favourite fabric’ but I am yet to say this is my ‘favourite TYPE of fabric’ because I have saved it up for possibly the best Monday 101 lesson ever! Hands down Velvet is my favourite TYPE of fabric and the subject of today's 101 Lesson.

I think velvet upholstery should nearly always be deep buttoned, it shows off the beautiful sheen!

I am safe in saying this because there are endless options with velvet; cotton, silk, mohair, polyester velvet; printed, cut, embellished velvet, the options are endless, but the true love affair all begins in the milling process.

Osborne & Little Du Barry velvets, one of my favourite collections.
Velvet is different to most other fabrics in that it is milled on a loom which creates two layers of fabric simultaneously.
This is not a velvet, but rather a nylon thread clearly showing the type of weave that creates two layers of fabric before the cutting process seperates them.

A cutter is then used to separate the two layers and form two separate pieces of cut velvet, and then a shearer is used to even out the pile, magic!
Silk is traditionally the most coveted velvet composition and if you ever get an opportunity to buy even just the smallest piece of silk velvet, do it! It feels sensational, you will sit and pat it all day!

Now as much as I love velvet I do need to point out that it is a volatile fabric. If the wrong composition is used in the wrong application you can get bruising [pile falls down and shows a different colour because of the shading] and crushing. For instance a silk velvet is particularly fragile and can bruise easily so it's best suited to applications where it will not come into too much contact such as a headboard, whilst a velvet sofa is more than likely upholstered in a polyester or polyester/cotton velvet as the pile is generally shorter and the fibre stronger and more resistant to bruising.
Amazing! One of the best areas to use a fragile velvet such as a cotton or silk velvet is in the bedroom, maximum impact and minimal frictional use!
I own a little of this stunner, Beacon Hill Rock Leopard, polyester, linen, cotton velvet.
Robert Allen Magnetisim in colour Lapis, cotton, viscose, polyester velvet.
Not just for upholstery and accessories, velvet in difference weights can made sensational drapery.
Zinc Galactica cut velvet.
Even just a little touch of velvet adds glam!
Now don't let this deter you, velvet can be used as drapery, upholstery and accessories and with the endless options available in composition, pattern, colour and detail there is one suited to your application.

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