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A swatch of black cotton velvet
Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut thread are very evenly distributed, with a short dense pile, giving it a distinct feel.


Velvet can be made from many different kinds of fibers. It is woven on a special loom that weaves two pieces of velvet at the same time. The two pieces are then cut apart and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls.Velvet was very expensive and was among the luxury goods.Velvet is difficult to clean, but in modern times, dry cleaning is used.

Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns.

Velvet is made, ideally, from silk. Cotton can also be used, though this often results in a slightly less luxurious fabric. More recently, synthetic velvets have been developed, mostly polyester, nylon, viscose, acetate, and mixtures of different synthetics, or synthetics and natural fibers (eg. viscose and silk). 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 Congomarker from raffia is often referred to as "Kuba velvet".

A small percentage of lycra is used sometimes to give stretch.


The art of velvet-weaving probably originated in ancient Kashmirmarker around the beginning of the fourteenth century.

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 velvets were Luccamarker, Genoamarker, Florencemarker and Venicemarker, and Genoa continues to send out rich velvet textures. Somewhat later the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the 16th century Brugesmarker attained a reputation for velvets which was not inferior to that of the great Italian cities.

See also

Velvet painting


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