A Guide To Different Types of Velvet Upholstery Fabric
Velvet is a posh fabric synonymous with royalty and luxury. Known for its soft, sleek, and smooth look, velvet is commonly used to give furniture a touch of class and shine. If you want to make your home look like a noble's castle or a celebrity's mansion, this is the fabric for you!
That said, there are many different kinds of velvet you can use in your home. To help you achieve the look and feel you want, take the time to learn about the different types of velvet upholstery fabric and their pros and cons. In this ultimate guide, we explain what you need to know about velvet and its many faces.
What Is Velvet?
Velvet is a soft, silky fabric traditionally made from silk, cotton, linen, or mohair. It's a tufted fabric with evenly distributed cut threads and a thick, short pile that makes it soft to the touch. It was originally only used by royalty, but as loom technology evolved, producing it became easier and cheaper, thus making it more accessible for the common crowd. Today, velvet is used in homes around the world and by people of all classes, not just the rich and famous!
Types of Velvet
You might be surprised to learn how many types of velvet there are! With various materials, weaves, colors, patterns, and even faux velvet variations, you can find velvet in dozens of different forms. In this guide to the different types of velvet upholstery fabric, we briefly go over 11 of the most common types. There are other kinds of velvet besides the ones on this list, but they're mostly used for clothing rather than furniture.
Crushed velvet has a "crushed," wrinkled look that's achieved by twisting the velvet while it's wet or pressing the pile in varying directions. This type of velvet is immensely shiny and has a rich, regal texture. It's typically used to make curtains or pillows.
Embossed velvet features patterns made with heat stamps. The patterns or embossing can be metallic or used to block colors; either way, they add visual interest and texture to the fabric. This kind of velvet is used widely in home upholstery because it's easy to work with and boasts a unique look.
To make ciselé fabric, you cut into the pile to create different-sized loops. This means that the velvet is flat in some areas and raised in others, giving it a textured appearance and feel. Ciselé velvet is used on all sorts of furniture and wall tapestries. Use it if you want a defined, dramatic look.
Plush velvet has an extra-long pile and is super soft as a result. Some fabric connoisseurs argue that plush velvet isn’t real velvet because of its unduly long pile, but it looks and feels like velvet, and you'll have a hard time telling them apart. You can use plush velvet to make beautiful and comfy blankets and comforters.
Dorell Fabrics has a Royale Plush Velvet that is high performance and perfect for all furniture. Your family members will instantly fall in love with its cloud-like feel.
If you need something that's stretchy and flexible, stretch velvet is right up your alley. Stretch velvet is sewn with a stretch needle and a stretch stitch and often contains spandex in the weave. This kind of velvet is ideal for use with big, unusually shaped, or soft pieces of furniture.
Pile On Pile Velvet
A very common form of velvet upholstery, pile on pile velvet has piles that vary in length. These varied piles create a unique textured pattern.
Hammered velvet is firmly pressed down or smashed. It has a crushed, dappled, and lustrous appearance. Widely considered the most luxurious of velvets, it provides a fantastic way to make your home feel expensive.
Nacre is silk velvet that's made up of several colors; the base fabric is the main color, and various accent colors create a shiny, particolored effect.
Hailing from Utrecht, Netherlands, this pressed, crimped fabric is made mainly from cotton and mohair. It's thick and has a shabby look; it's popular for use on couches, chairs, and other forms of seating.
Velveteen is a faux velvet made from just cotton or a mix of silk and cotton. It features a short pile (raised to around 3 mm) comprised of horizontal weft threads. Velveteen is noticeably heavier than real velvet and less shiny. It's commonly used for smaller items like toys (think the Velveteen Rabbit) and as a furniture accent.
Last but not least, we have voided velvet, which features patches of velvet mixed with patches that are velvet-free. This creates an almost quilted look that's great if you want something ornate and traditional.
How To Care for Velvet Upholstery
Velvet is a wonderful and versatile fabric for furniture, but it requires lots of TLC! If you don't treat velvet properly, it can matte, pile, tuft, or shrink. So, how do you care for velvet without accidentally ruining it? Some general rules to follow during handling include:
- Never apply pressure to wet velvet unless it's crushed velvet, in which case, gentle pressure can help the fabric maintain its shape
- Let dry in a ventilated room
- Don't iron; use steam to remove wrinkles
- To get rid of stains, shake off moisture and air dry
- Clean using cool water and a gentle velvet-safe detergent; avoid harsh cleaners at all costs
- Keep out of direct sunlight
So long as you follow these basic care tips, you can keep your velvet in pristine condition for years to come.
If you're looking for fabric that's smooth as velvet—or actually is velvet, take a trip to the Fabric Outlet! Here, you'll find a treasure trove of velvet knit fabric and other upholstery fabrics perfect for your furniture. We have over a dozen kinds of velvet to choose from, each available in a vibrant array of colors. Shop online or visit us in-store to get silky, shiny, and customized fabric you can use to beautify your home. Our team will be happy to help you find the right fabric for all your upholstery needs.