Velvet vs. Velour – What’s the difference

Velvet and Velour are commonly confused for the same fabric. This is not the case however, Velvet and Velour may share some similarities but they are not the same. The use of velvet dates back to the Renaissance and became the fabric of choice throughout southern Europe and was particularly prominent in the cities of Venice, Florence and Genoa.

velvet, upholstery, quality fabric

velvet, upholstery, quality fabric

Velour did not appear until 1844. Invented in France it took its name from the French word for velvet – “velours”.
Velvet is recognised by its softness and glossy sheen. Velvet has a pile weave structure; this is where the yarns, commonly made from linen, mohair, silk, wool and sometimes cotton, are woven into small loops in one direction, giving velvet its characteristic smooth feeling.

velvet, cushions, upholstery, handmade

Velour is a more affordable, velvet imitation. It looks and feels very similar to velvet however velour is made with a pile knit structure, this is where the yarns usually made from cotton or synthetics, are knit into loops, much like a pile weave. With velour, the small loops are cut off, meaning the fabric loses its sheen.
Being knitted, velour is traditionally stretchier than velvet but due to developments in textile technology this is no longer the case and velvet can be used for many applications, from upholstery to curtains to clothing.

velvet sofas, velvet upholstery, curtains, velvet

At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we have a passion for fabric. We take the time to source unique fabrics so you can have a truly one-off experience. With fabrics that are suitable for sofas, chairs, cushions, boats, beds and whatever else you can imagine, the possibilities are endless.

With our easy-to-use fabric finder you can search thousands of fabrics for the perfect match and with free samples available you can try the shade of fabric in your home before you buy. Our warehouse, based in Batley, West Yorkshire is open to customers so you are welcome to view our range of fabrics before you make your decision. If you want to speak to us about our fabric range, contact us on 01924 728 753, use our contact form or email