The characteristics of velvet

08 Mar 2022

The characteristics of velvet

Everything you need to know about velvet fabrics for interior decoration

Always synonymous with luxury and elegance, velvet is one of the most widely used fabrics in the interior design sector for upholstering sofas, armchairs, seats and upholstered beds, as well as for curtains and cushions. Soft and smooth to the touch, it is well suited to both classic or retro environments, as well as more modern and minimalist settings, to create plays of contrasts and a strong stylistic impact. Depending on the material, the density and length of the pile, as well as the type of processing, one can distinguish different types of velvet fabrics, more or less fine, soft and resistant.

Let's discover together all the characteristics and advantages of this fabric for interior decoration.

The characteristics of velvet: how is it made?

Velvet is woven on a loom with two warps and a weft, so the obverse and reverse sides of this fabric have different characteristics: the front part, called the fleece, is characterised by a very soft pile of varying length (usually no more than 3 mm) consisting of vertical fibres. The presence of the pile makes the fabric appear and feel different depending on whether it is used in the direction of the pile or against it. Velvet can be made from all types of fibres, either natural, such as linen or cotton, or synthetic, such as nylon and polyester.

Different types of velvet

Velvets are not all the same. The differences depend first of all on the yarns chosen for weaving the pile, which determine the degree of lustre and softness of the fabric. The type and quality of the fibres used for the pile warp give this fabric specific characteristics. In general, we can distinguish between:

  • silk velvet: silk is the yarn used to produce the finest velvets because it lends a particular brilliance and softness to the fabric. However, these types of velvet are not recommended for upholstering chairs, armchairs, sofas or other surfaces where the fabric is subjected to significant rubbing and frequent use;
  • cotton velvet: this type of velvet is characterised by a shorter pile and is less lustrous, but more resistant than silk velvet. This is why it is often used for upholstered furniture, such as beds, sofas, armchairs, chairs and poufs;
  • velvet made of synthetic fibres, such as polyester and nylon, which give the fabric a very shiny and glossy appearance and also ensure greater wear resistance. This type of velvet is therefore particularly suitable for upholstery and interior design.
Care and maintenance of velvet fabrics

To keep velvet clean and retain its characteristic softness and lustre over time, it must be brushed regularly. Chairs, armchairs and upholstered furniture covered in velvet can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner. Dust and dirt can be removed from velvet by vacuuming with a special upholstery brush with soft bristles, and brushing should always follow the direction of the pile.


Depending on the frequency of upholstery use and the colour of the velvet, deep cleaning may be necessary every 4 to 5 years. In this case, it is best to rely on experienced professionals, as well as to remove the most difficult stains.

Dry cleaning is generally preferable, but some types of velvet can be machine washed using a detergent for delicates and setting a programme for silk or wool at 30° (best to avoid spin drying). If a tumble dryer is used, it is important to ensure that the item is facing with the pile inwards. Ironing should be light to avoid damaging the fabric.

Velvet fabrics: Eurotessuti's offerings

Eurotessuti offers different types of plain colour polyester velvet fabrics and printed velvet fabrics available in a wide range of colours. All the fabrics are made from high quality raw materials and are designed to be highly durable and adapt to any furnishing style, from the more traditional, classic or vintage to the more modern.

In Eurotessuti 's catalogue you can find plain velvets, such as Diana velvet, available in 64 colours always in stock, or Viki velvet, ideal for upholstering sofas, armchairs, beds and cushions in a classic or modern style. You can also choose printed fabrics with the most popular patterns, such as Scottish velvet (available in three colour variants), but also velvets with animal motifs or exclusive floral patterns.

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