Since the Renaissance velvet has been synonymous with luxury and opulence when it was the fabric of choice of the great cities of Venice, Florence and Genoa. Velvet’s cousin velour was invented in France in 1844 and took its name from the French word for velvet, similar in appearance and feel they are however different – velvet has a pile weave structure giving that distinctive glossy sheen and velour is made with a pile knit structure. Small loops are cut off resulting in a slight loss of sheen.
However, in days gone by, velvet was easy to stain and only available in limited colours. Velvet has undergone something of a revolution and advances in technology have democratised this once exclusive material. Now velvet needn’t be used only for accent pieces such as cushions of poufs in an interior scheme. The new high performance velvets are now a great choice for sofas, armchairs and dining chairs. Velvet is also a stunning choice for headboards
Velvet is a beautiful surface to print onto and the advances in digital printing have really opened up the design possibilities – velvet is just not stuffy anymore. Velvet works so well as part of an eclectic mix of opulence and pared back industrial chic.
A dramatic and yet easy way to inject velvet into a scheme is with statement lighting – velvet lampshades printed with bold pattern on rich backgrounds and the trend for dark inky paintwork provides the perfect backdrop for velvet.