Velvet pieces are a favourite home décor. Thanks to its soft texture and gorgeous drape, velvet fabric is widely used for curtains, cushions, and upholstery. It is a luxurious textile with a shiny surface from its short pile fibres.
Velvet upholstery fabric is made from just about any fibre you can think of. It can come from polyester, cotton, rayon, silk, and more. The term velvet pertains to the weave and not the fibre used. Velvet is made through a special loom that produces two pieces of the cloth at the same time.
Velvet upholstery fabric is made from natural fibres, synthetic fibres, or the combination of both. As expected, synthetic fabrics are the less expensive option. Let’s take a closer look at the features of each material:
Long ago, velvet fabrics were mainly made of silk. However, it is very costly and rare nowadays. Silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms, which are difficult to gather. Silk velvet is very shiny in appearance. It is a high-quality cloth that is soft, lightweight, and has excellent drape. Although pure silk velvet is infrequent, silk is often combined with other materials like rayon and viscose to make velvet upholstery fabrics.
Thicker velvets are made of cotton, like most times we get asked at Yorkshire Fabric Shop. Compared with silk, this material is heavier and more hardwearing. Just like other velvets, it is soft to the touch and has an excellent drape. Cotton velvet has little to no stretch. In terms of lustre, it has a rather dull sheen.
Linen velvet is a cool material that suits the hot weather. It absorbs dye excellently, so it is available in various deep colours. However, this upholstery fabric has a matt finish. Hence, if you love velvet for its shiny look, linen velvet might not be your best choice.
There is an emerging type of velvet called “velvet microfibre.” This material is made of micro-denier polyester fibre. It has velvet qualities: soft and lightweight. Velvet microfibre is used for making rugs, upholstery fabrics, towels, clothes, and even makeup sponges. It is resistant to stain and easy to clean, making it a great choice for upholstery and curtains.
Viscose is a semi-synthetic cloth. It is made from wood pulp, a natural material, that is then turned into cellulose fibres through immense chemical processes. Viscose velvet has a shimmery appearance similar to silk velvet. Hence, it is an affordable substitute.
Also, it is soft, lightweight, and has a nice drape. Further, this material is absorbent, airy, and breathable. Viscose is typically blended with cotton, polyester, and silk to create upholstery fabrics. Viscose velvet is also used in casino tables, cushions, bag linings, and more.
Rayon velvet is another cheap alternative to silk velvet. This upholstery fabric is lustrous, soft, and low maintenance. Also, it is very lightweight and drapey.
Velvet fabrics tend to be very hardwearing; that's why you may see a velvet effect material on busses and trains perfect for contract and public places. At Yorkshire Fabric Shop, we have robust contract velvet fabrics for environments where a higher quality fabric is needed, such as restaurants and hospitality projects.