The Concept of Burnout Velvet
Burnout velvet is a sculptured velvet in which the pile of the velvet is eaten away, creating high and low patterns in the surface.
Burnout velvet, also called devoré (from the French: devorer - to devour), is made of rayon, silk, or acetate velvet on a silk chiffon or mesh base.
Burnout velvet is thought to have been developed in France toward the end of the 19th century. It was created in Lyon, the silk center of France.
By the 1920s, burnout velvet had become popular for loungewear such as peignoirs, for shawls, and for dresses. It was prized for its texture and drape and for the beauty of its surface designs, some of which were so fine that they resembled lace.
Burnout velvet currently enjoys popularity for clothing and accessories and for costumes.
The process used to create the burnout effect consists of spreading or printing a caustic solution on the fabric, thereby burning away the pile in the affected areas and leaving the underlying fabric intact.
Velvet burnout is usually made of a blend of natural and man-made fibers, such as silk and rayon, or cotton and polyester. The protein and man-made fibers remain, while the cellulose or plant fibers are burned away.
The resulting fabric has a silky hand with good drape and a luxurious feel. The remaining base is sheer, while the velvet pile rises from the base fabric in floral or geometric pattens. Some burnout can have a lacy look; this depends on how much pile remains.
Burnout velvet is not to be confused with cut velvet. Cut velvet, as its name implies, is created by cutting some of the pile and leaving the rest in uncut loops.
Use burnout velvet for evening gowns, peignoirs, lingerie, blouses, shawls or scarves, and for draperies or other home decor items.