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Velvet Fabric: a Quick History of How It Became Popular

Velvet Fabric: a Quick History of How It Became Popular

Velvet is a fabric synonymous with luxury and royalty, with its soft-to-the-touch texture and ethereal glow. But where did this rich, classy fabric come from, and what propelled it to its modern stardom? Here, we provide a quick history of velvet fabric and how it became popular for those who are curious to learn more.

What Is Velvet?

Velvet is a woven or knit, tufted fabric with evenly cut and distributed threads with a cut pile surface. It has a smooth, silky feel and a lustrous sheen that makes it appear luxurious. Velvet is also durable, heat-conductive, and simple to maintain.

Where Did It Originate?

To understand how velvet became so popular, you need to know some quick history.

Historians believe velvet originated from Eastern culture, most likely from China or Egypt. People discovered fabric samples resembling the velvet weaving technique in Egypt, dating back to roughly 2,000 BC. People also unearthed samples from China, dating back to around 400 BC.

Eventually, people began to trade velvet in Europe via the Silk Road. Many countries produced and sold it, but during this period, Italy was the main European hub. And once it arrived in Europe, the nobility there became obsessed with the fabric. Since velvet was complicated to weave, it came with a hefty price tag that only the richest of the rich could afford. But those able to shell out a pretty penny for it cherished it for its rich sheen and soft, silk-like texture.

How Did It Become Popular?

It wasn't until the industrial revolution, when the velvet production method became heavily mechanized, that the labor and cost to produce velvet fell. This resulted in affordable velvet for all classes. From that point, it became a mainstay in the fashion and interior design worlds, hailed for its glamour, versatility, and functionality.

If you want to incorporate soft, shiny velvet into your home decor, consider picking up high-quality, affordable velvet upholstery fabric from the Fabric Outlet. We have dozens of unique patterns and textures, plus a rainbow of colors for you to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect match for your style.