Velvet Fabric Types, Characteristics and End Uses

Velvet Fabric Types, Characteristics and Uses

Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed.  Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is characterized by a dense pile of evenly cut fibers that have a smooth nap.

Due to the characteristics of the short pile fibers, velvet Fabric has a beautiful drape and a unique soft and shiny appearance.

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Note: Velvet can be made from either natural or synthetic fibers.

7 Different Types of Velvet

There are several different velvet fabric types, as the fabric can be woven from a variety of different materials using a variety of methods.


  • Crushed velvet. As the name suggests, crushed velvet has a “crushed” look that is achieved by twisting the fabric while wet or by pressing the pile in different directions. The appearance is patterned and shiny, and the material has a unique texture.


  • Panne velvet. Panne velvet is a type of crushed velvet for which heavy pressure is applied to the material to push the pile in one direction. The same pattern can appear in knit fabrics like velour, which is usually made from polyester and is not true velvet.


  • Embossed velvet. Embossed velvet is a printed fabric created via a heat stamp, which is used to apply pressure to velvet, pushing down the piles to create a pattern. Embossed velvet is popular in upholstery velvet materials, which are used in home decor and design.


  • Ciselé. This type of patterned velvet is created by cutting some looped threads and leaving others uncut.


  • Plain velvet. Plain velvet is usually cotton velvet. It is heavy with a very little stretch and doesn’t have the shine that velvet made from silk or synthetic fibers has.
  • Stretch velvet. Stretch velvet has spandex incorporated in the weave which makes the material more flexible and stretchy.


  • Pile-on-pile velvet. This type of velvet has piles of varying lengths that create a pattern. Velvet upholstery fabric usually contains this type of velvet.

Uses of Velvet Fabric

The main desirable attribute of velvet is its softness, so this textile is primarily used in applications in which fabric is placed close to the skin.

At the same time, velvet also has a distinctive visual allure, so it’s commonly used in home decor in applications such as curtains and throw pillows. Unlike some other interior decor items, velvet feels as good as it looks, which makes this fabric a multi-sensory home design experience.

Due to its softness, velvet is sometimes used in bedding. In particular, this fabric is commonly used in the insulative blankets that are placed between sheets and duvets. Velvet is much more prevalent in womenswear than it is in clothing for men, and it is often used to accentuate womanly curves and create stunning eveningwear. Some stiff forms of velvet are used to make hats, and this material is popular in glove linings.

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