Kothea fabric samples of fine cotton velvet in bondi blue, peacock and chencat weaves in teal and bronze. All suitable for upholstery, and available in a selection of colourways. Inspired by two junctions by Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Tate Modern. . .
KOTHEA was asked “what is the difference between cotton velvet and mohair velvet upholstery fabric”.
More of an explanation about velvet is given here – essentially ‘velvet’ is the finish arrived at by a specific production process. That process can be applied to many fibres. Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat and cotton is a natural fibre that grows from the cotton plant.
Mohair velvet is a fabric much sought after by interior designers. It is sold in a wide range of qualities and is sometimes used as a generic term for velvets when, in fact, there are very many differing and sometimes superior compositions available than just those made with ‘mohair’.
Velvet is a type of tufted fabric woven with a warp pile. It has a short dense pile of 3mm or less (‘plush’ has a pile longer than 3mm) and a distinctive feel. During production wires lift the yarn creating small loops which are either cut or left depending on the desired finish. Velvets tend to take colour very well and also tend to be hard-wearing with a high degree of suitability for varied uses; they were typically hard to clean but that problem is mostly solved with modern dry-cleaning.
What’s in a velvet?
Kashmir was probably the birth-place of velvet in the early 1300s but by the 16th Century Bruges had become the leading source of what at the time was a definitive luxury item. Luxury velvets are still made in Europe as well as in Asia.
The original velvets were typically silk velvet. With the passing of time and increasing technical sophistication it has become easily possible to make velvets from many natural and synthetic yarns. At KOTHEA we have velvets at the top end of the quality range made from fine yarns including Linen Velvet, Cashmere-Silk Velvet, Linen Velvet, Cotton Velvet, Wool Velvet and of course Mohair Velvet. Other velvets available in the market have compositions that include polyester, nylon, viscose, acetate or mixtures. Sometimes small amounts of lycra are included to give the fabric stretch.
Here are some additional pointers to consider when you are making a curtain using a velvet. Remember that a velvet is just a type of fabric and the fibre(s) that the velvet is made from is important.
So for example, we would always recommend that you line a curtain. This gives a superior appearance but also reduced the amount of light going through the fabric hence limiting as much as possible the effect of any fading.
If the velvet has a pile that can be flattened in one direction then we would recommend that you have the pile going downwards for SHINY velvet fabrics and PATTERNED VELVETS.
If however you make up the curtain with the pile upwards then this will deepen the colour so you could make the curtains this way for cotton velvets and Trevira Velvet and Mohair velvets.
These are general guidelines and it is not necessarily wrong if you make up the curtain ‘the other way’ just so long as you understand the implications to the finished look and performance of the material.
Some background first: As an interior designer you buy and handle many fabrics. You may have wondered why some fabrics come in rolls of up to 100m whereas other come in much smaller lengths. Is this because of their value? The likelihood of them being sold quickly enough? Or perhaps longer lengths of some fabrics would be just to heavy for someone in a warehouse to physically carry or indeed too heavy for a courier to carry? Or perhaps it’s something to do with the thickness of the roll?
Well there is some truth no doubt in all of these reasons and others to. But one very important consideration with a velvet and especially with a Mohair velvets is the weight of the fabric and the weight of the fabric ON ITSELF. Because velvets have a pile they are thicker and heavier than other fabrics as they contain more material; similarly some velvets such as many mohair velvets have a dense pile…again more fabric and more weight.
There comes a point when the sheer weight of the roll of fabric becomes too much for the pile of the first part of the wrapped fabric on the roll and the inherent weight of all the fabric can cause damage to the pile. So velvets and especially mohair velvets have smaller lengths on the roll. Sometimes 25m but sometimes also 40m and 50m per roll.
So the length of fabric on a roll will be impacted by the weight of the fabric per linear metre AND the fact that a pile fabric can be more affected by added weight than other fabric.
So, how to store.
1. Store horizontally
2. Store with no other, external weight applied to the fabric.
3. Covered up to avoid exposure to dirt and dust i the air -especially if stored for long periods
Typically you will find that many of our velvets come to you in special containers where the velvet is on a roll and suspended by special cardboard ends in the boxes. For small volumes of velvet on a single roll there is often no need for these special containers. Where the velvets are supplied in suspended roll containers it is safe to store the velvet in this form. Ideally youwould have a horizontal racking system for rolls of fabric as lengths can easily be cut off as and when you need them but cleary most interior designers do not have this facility.
The safest method of course is to let your supplier hold the stock and order cut lengths from them. It de-risks you damaging the fabric. Unless of course the supplier can specifically reserve entire rolls just for you, you would have the potential problem of dye lot or batch variation of colour with many fabric dyes. There would normally be a charge for an additional service such as this.
LONDON, England. 04-MAY-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KOTWIG. KOTWIG has an off-the-wall textured design. It has a high Martindale score which is unusually achieved without incorporating polyester. It is highly suitable for a wide range of uses including heavy upholstery and wall treatments in either domestic or contract installations.
Primary Usage: General upholstery or wall treatments, contract & domestic.
Type of fabric: Textured Weave
KOTHEA are a top-market fabric house based in London serving customers throughout all of Europe and The Middle East. Founded in 1999 they have since continued to develop and sell an extensive range of timeless fabrics to the top architects, interior- and yacht-designers for projects ranging from mega-yachts to boutique hotels and from luxury spas to penthouses.
KOTHEA operate on a trade-only basis and their fabrics are available to the public through interior designers and specialist interior design shops such as Gotham, Interiors Bis and Fiona Campbell. KOTHEA also supply beautiful hand-woven linen fabrics and finished goods – throws and table linen.
KOTHEA’s trade customers would perceive their signature fabrics to include several ranges of velvet including the exclusive ‘cashmere silk velvet’, silks, linens, double-width sheers, faux leather and interesting weaves for upholstery often with high Martindale ‘rub tests’ making them highly suited to both contract and residential projects.
Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Parsons started KOTHEA more than 10 years ago after 11 highly successful years with Nobilis Fontan in Chelsea and Donghia in Chelsea Harbour. She says, “At KOTHEA we like to think we bring something a little different to the market. Our difference will be reflected in our customers’ eyes by unusual fabrics that complement our core fabric ranges; all augmented by our excellent levels of customers service, market knowledge and attention to detail.”
Well, despite the market slowdown the luxury 50 storey Pan Peninsula tower in London Docklands is fully sold. Alongside amazing apartments are a signature restaurant, private cinema and a Six Senses Spa.
The penthouses have amazing views and KOTHEA have supplied some of our very best mohair velvets for this development.