Velvet. A bit like the marmite of the fabric world – you either love it or hate it. I’m a total fan. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite genre of fabric. Forget any misconceptions of the naff crushed velvets of the 1980s, velvet has made a stylish comeback and it’s here to stay.
I use it all the time on my upholstery projects and I’m always amazed when people have misconceptions about how it’s impractical, hard to care for and likely to get wrecked in an instant. In fact, I choose it when I know that a chair or sofa needs to be durable and hardwearing. Technology has come a long way, and modern production methods make velvet top of my list in most cases for an all-round, everyday, enduring option.
If you need convincing, here’s five reasons why I think this soft, sumptuous material is a style winner every time.
5 reasons to love this fabulous fabric
Some people mistakenly think that velvet is delicate and definitely not suitable for homes with kids and pets. But actually, the opposite is true. These days, the fabrics are stain-resistant and tough enough to withstand everyday use. Velvet can be woven from any type of yarn, and while in the past it may have been mainly delicate silks, today, cotton, linen, wool and ultra-functional synthetics are used.
Once upon a time, velvet was seen as a prestige fabric. Worn by royalty and preserved for the chicest boudoirs, it came with a similarly high price tag. Now though, prices can range from around an affordable £30 a metre up to ‘the sky’s the limit’ depending on the level of printed detail involved.
3. Richness of colour
As well as being luxurious and tactile, you get the most amazing depth of colour from velvet. If you’re a fan of a dark, moody colour palette, velvet will be the natural choice for achieving a luxurious finish. Its luminous sheen also makes it ideal for softer, more relaxed tones.
“As well as being luxurious and tactile, you get the most amazing depth of colour from a velvet.”
Velvet goes with everything. Contrasted against a modern, industrial look, it adds warmth and texture. Put it on your favourite armchair in a decadent room and I promise it will become your favourite place to snuggle up. Whatever your style, it just fits in. It also transcends eras. I’d just as soon use it in a contemporary interior as in a grand, period property.
I personally love working with velvet as the array of detail options are usually endless. Patterned velvets will almost always have a complementary plain, so you can add piping, edges and panels. Velvet also pairs really well with other tactile textures such as sheepskin and wool. A velvet sofa layered up with cushions and blankets is hard to beat as a glamorous but inviting space.
Are you convinced? Do you love velvet, and does it feature in your home? Tell me, I’d love to know. And do get in touch if you’d like to discuss fabric options or have an upholstery project in mind.