Velvets have become increasingly popular over the last 5 years. Both residential and contract usage of velvets have increased tremendously. Having been produced for hundreds of years velvets never seem to have lost the attention of discerning designers.

Interior Designers are often interested in the properties and manufacture of velvet – the two being necessarily related. The depth of the pile, the durability of the finish, the ease of maintaining the beautiful finish.

Velvet is made in one of two ways – cut or uncut:

1. Cut pile

a. Here the loom is configured to have two fabric cloths being woven on face-to-face, one on the other. The pile is woven from one into the other. The cloths would be bound together were it not for a moving knife that travels between the two.

b. Wire loom

Here the yarn is looped over a wire above a single cloth. A knife cuts the top of the loop as the wire is withdrawn.

2. Uncut pile

Very similar to the wire loom except the yarn is NOT cut as the wire is withdrawn. This method gives the fabric even more depth and interest.

Dyeing & Finishing

Velvet is often woven in ‘greige’ in longish lengths of 200m or more. A further stage is added whereby individual pieces are cut and coloured to precise colour formulae. KOTHEA use this way to be quickly able to turn around orders for bespoke colours from stock of the greige. Precise chemical dye mixes ensure good replication of colours for re-stocking.

After colouration the fabric is finished. This involves tumbling and brushing and a backing applied.

Different types of pile effects: If the yarns are finished upright then the effect is called, funnily enough, upright pile. Alternatively a panne pile is one which is flattened so that the pile is laid in one direction.

Often you will hear of Mohair Velvet. Mohair is just one of the kinds of yarns that could be used. It could equally be linen or cotton or a cashmere and silk mix.

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