Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Velvet is the best upholstery fabric if you’re looking for a stylish appearance. Velvet is by far the most extravagant type of upholstery fabric used today, and it’s been used for hundreds of years in all different kinds of furniture, from bedframes to sofas. 

But don’t let the extravagance of velvet prevent you from using it to upholster your own furniture. Velvet today is affordable, versatile, durable, and widely available. It’s no longer the fabric of kings and queens. There are also several different types of velvet upholstery fabric, offering something for everyone.

Where Did Velvet Come from? 

Nobody’s exactly sure where velvet first originated, but it was probably in China sometime in the 13th century or earlier. Velvet spread across the world on the Silk Road, being traded from China to other parts of Asia and on into the Middle East and Europe. It really hit its stride in popularity during the Italian Renaissance.

Velvet was popular because it was so hard to make, which meant it was expensive. Velvet was reserved for royal families and those who were wealthy. Another reason royals and nobles loved velvet was because it could be dyed with rich colours.

Velvet upholstery can be some of the most colourful fabric choices out there, with deep greens, bright pinks, and beautiful sky blues. Velvet can also be made dark, with purples and deep blacks. It’s a great option for adding some colour to your home and can play nicely with your home decor.

Is Velvet a Good Upholstery Fabric?

Velvet is indeed a great upholstery fabric. Velvet looks and feels more luxurious than just about every other textile, and yet it’s still versatile. Velvet can be used in a wide variety of applications throughout the home, from upholstering beds and decorative pillowcases to reupholstering an old antique chair.

When choosing an upholstery fabric velvet should definitely get a glance.

Velvet has the magical ability to transform any space into a palace. By reupholstering the furniture in your bedroom with velvet, you can change it from drab to glamorous. Velvet has a unique, unforgettable sheen that can work for a relaxed, modern, or vintage feel. 

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Is Velvet Upholstery Fabric Durable?

Velvet is exceptionally durable. It’s also low maintenance. A lot of people think velvet is a fragile, dainty textile that will easily rip, smudge, and wear out. This isn’t the case. Even when using velvet in a high-traffic area of the house, like in the living room, it will last for years. Velvet doesn’t wear out nearly as quickly as people like to think.

Of course, proper care is still needed to keep velvet upholstery looking clean and colourful. But even with a bit of neglect, velvet will look fabulous for decades. Some compare velvet to leather, since both get better as they age!

Plus, velvet is very easy to clean. It doesn’t need to be washed or steamed frequently. The easiest way to take care of your velvet upholstery is by vacuuming it at the same time you vacuum your floor and carpets. A handheld nozzle is the quickest way to clean a piece of velvet furniture.

Velvet doesn’t really stain either. Because most modern upholstery fabrics are treated with a stain repellent, you’ll easily be able to dab any spilled liquid with a damp towel. The only negative is that if something is spilled on your velvet furniture and allowed to air dry, it will become a bit of a nightmare to get out. It’s most definitely an indoor upholstery fabric as you wouldn’t want it to get wet outside, so we wouldn’t recommend you upholstery velvet to an outdoor chair.

How is Velvet Made?

Velvet upholstery fabric is a bit trickier to make than some other fabrics. It requires additional yarn and a few more steps in the production process. Yarn is woven on a loom between two separate layers of backing. The fabric is then parted down the middle to create two pieces of fabric. Because of the extra layers, velvet is especially soft with a distinctly pronounced texture.

Velvet can be made from any type of yarn! This means that there are plenty of different types of velvet upholstery fabric available. Velvet can be woven from cotton, linen, silk, wool, and even modern synthetic fibres – or any combination of those. 

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What is the Best Type of Velvet Upholstery Fabric? 

There are six main types of velvet upholstery fabric. The feel and texture of the velvet fabric will differ depending on which fibres were used. 

Silk Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Silk velvet fabric is the most luxurious of them all, notorious for being soft and, of course, silky smooth. It’s also considerably more expensive than most other velvet fabrics. Silk velvet drapes well on furniture, but it doesn’t hold up as well if people are sitting on it frequently. Silk velvet stains easily and can get worn out fast. 

Linen Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Linen velvet fabric is cool and breathable, ideal for being wrapped up in during the hotter months. Linen velvet is often brighter and richer than other velvets because it can absorb dyes well. It’s cheaper, more durable, and ideal for upholstering furniture that needs to pop in a space.

Synthetic Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Synthetic velvet fabric is by far the strongest velvet available today. It’s almost always created using the highest quality polyester, so it’s not going to fade or get worn out like silk velvet. Synthetic fibres are also cheaper to manufacture, so the price is ideal. 

The only issue with synthetic velvet is that it doesn’t feel quite as soft or delicate as some other types. It’s rougher, though its durability makes it ideal for sofas and chairs.

Crushed Velvet Upholstery Fabric

Crushed velvet fabric has a crinkled look, which it gets from the fabrication process when the fabric is twisted and flattened. The crinkled effect makes the fabric reflective and shiny, so it shimmers in the light. Crushed velvet also feels rough when you touch it, making it not that comfortable against skin.

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If you would like to compare some other types of fabrics that are suitable for upholstery, visit our blog on How To Choose Upholstery Fabric. If durability is a very important to you when choosing an upholstery fabric, visit Upholstery Fabric Durability Ratings.