KOTHEA was asked what linen velvet fabric could be used for.
A: General uses. Upholstery, curtains, cushions. The 100% linen velvet we have has a Martindale / Rub Test of 20,000 so it is certainly suitbale for appropriate upholstery uses. A linen velvet offers a relatively unusual yet natural fibre for a velvet.
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.
You’ve just ordered a new velvet and unrolled it to admire your purchase. But how do you re-roll it?
When you roll almost any fabric you should have the face on the inside. With a velvet this is the pile so you have the pile on the inside.
Some, but not all, velvet piles stand straight up others will ‘lay down’. for the former it does not matter which way you then roll the fabric (provided the pile is on the inside). However for typically longer pile which lays down (ie you can brush it flat with your hand in one direction only) then you should roll the fabric down the pile as you return it to its roll.
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.
Mohair Velvet and Silk Velvet buyers consider this: You have just invested a considerable amount of money in a high quality silk velvet or mohair velvet. Are you really considering upholstering with it yourself. Use an experienced upholsterer who, to be brutally honest, should not need the instructions that follow.
Some velvets are woven with a nap others are not. It is not a problem either way. If there is a nap you need to know which way it goes as that affects the process of upholstering. When you run your hand down the mohair velvet or silk velvet the smoothed direction indicates the direction of the nap. Remember this, it is important.
I’m assuming that you have already checked that the fabric is not damaged and that each piece is from the same dye lot.
The nap should be upholstered downwards for:
– the back;
– the seat; and
– side surfaces.
The nap should be upholstered from the outside inwards for:
– arm rests.
How do you flip your cushions? Top to bottom or left to right?
Most people flip from top to bottom. It is therefore standard upholstering practice to upholster the front and the back the opposite way. IE when they are flipped over the nap is the same.
You should use a layer of wadding between the foam and the fabric. The wadding can be either cotton or synthetic it does not really matter but check with any fire rating requirements. Again check that you are using the right kind of foam but HR foam or cold foam are both fine.
However if the pile is vertical then we advise the additional use of a cotton slip-cover.
Going back to the foam for a minute we advise that you use white wadding. In certain circumstances it is possible that grey wadding will ‘bleed’ causing marks on your beautiful Mohair Velvet. For example this may be caused from moisture used in the cleaning process.
Always use wadding on the arm rests as a protective layer to help eliminate ‘sharp’ edges. Using wadding on arm rests will thus reduce wear and tear considerably.
For the piping never use synthetic piping cord, always use cotton piping cord. As with the arm rests this will reduce wear and tear by eliminating the ‘sharper edges’.
Again to reduce wear and tear also use the length of the fabric to make the piping. this will look better as well.
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.
KOTHEA was asked if linen velvet fabric can be used for upholstery.
Our 100% linen velvet has a Martindale of 20,000 ‘rubs’. So this is certainly suitable for domestic upholstery and also for light contract. As with all velvets a proper care regime should be in place to prolong the life of the fabric. Also check the Martindale figures of the specific fabric you intend to use as that test result is the most useful indication of suitability for upholstery.
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.”