Staying Warm In Winter With Velvet
Velvet is a soft pile fabric that has been manufactured for almost 4,000 years in one form or another. It has long been considered a luxury fabric because it requires more thread to manufacture than other fabrics, as well as multiple steps. Velvet can be made from any type of thread, although traditionally, it was made with silk, making it even more costly. In the modern era, cotton and synthetics have been used in the manufacture of velvet, and several related fabrics, such as velour, velveteen, and corduroy, have been invented for consumers on a budget.
Usually, velvet is woven as a double cloth on a specialized loom. The warp threads go through two pieces of cloth, instead of just one, and when the fabric is finished, a blade cuts the two pieces of fabric apart along the warp. Each piece of fabric must be taken up on a separate roll as it is cut. The resulting material is known as a "pile" fabric because the thread sticks up, forming a soft pile.
After cutting, velvet is often sheared to ensure it is all even, and then dyed. The fabric takes dye extremely well, and when made with silk, it is often highly lustrous. Special effects can be created by twisting the fabric while it is wet, producing crushed velvet. In addition, some is woven with multiple threads of different colors, producing vivid designs. The fabric is usually brushed while moist so that it sets with a grain, producing the characteristic feel that consumers prize.
Velvet fabric tends to wrap the body, trapping your body heat and making you feel warm. For women who may be attending a gala event during the winter, velvet dresses provide an array of colors and cuts while offering protection from the chill night air. A velvet gown is often warm enough that additional coverage, such as a coat or cloak, becomes unnecessary.
With winter in full swing, it's important that you keep wool and velvet clothing on hand. On the most bitter of days, you can face the weather with a velvet sweater and a wool coat, or snuggle by the fire wearing a simple velvet top and a pair of jeans. While wool is popular for everyday wear, velvet is the choice for more formal celebrations.