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Trend flash: velvet is back, goodbye to extreme austerity

If you succumbed to the decorative restraint of the last few years, go wild with velvet now. Learn all about the trendy fabric.

Throughout the centuries, velvet has been used in decoration as a symbol to bring luxury and glamour to an environment. Precisely for this reason, with the emergence of certain more casual and contemporary decorative styles, it was swept away from the decoration of today's homes, especially in recent years of such austerity due to the crisis. As everything gets tired, so does austerity, which is beginning to be punctually sprinkled with elements such as copper or velvet that, at last, allow us to enjoy a little luxury. But without going overboard: in small details. Velvet is a fabric made with a short, dense pile in which the threads are evenly distributed. Its texture is obtained by the effect of creating loops in a second warp, which are the horizontal threads that form the base of the fabric. Depending on whether or not the pile is cut and how it is cut, it will be cut velvet, curled, worked, or chiseled. But in all cases, it is a fabric full of nuances that invite you to look and, above all, to touch. Its manufacture is somewhat more expensive than that of other fabrics since it is necessary to weave it on a special loom with two thicknesses of fabric simultaneously, which is why it has traditionally been associated with a luxurious product.

Velvet is characterized by having one side smooth and the other side with a short, dense pile that gives rise to an exceptionally soft texture. This silky touch makes it especially suitable and irresistible for upholstery and home decoration. Velvet can be obtained from any natural fiber, whether cotton, wool, linen, or silk, and, currently, with synthetic fibers, making the final result the same as with natural fibers but with a lower cost of the raw material.

Origin. Although exact beginnings are not known, there are indications that the ancient Egyptians made fabrics similar to velvet more than 3,000 years ago. However, the one we know today arose in the Far East with references that take us back to the end of the 13th century, where silk fibers were worked on handlooms that gave rise to this fabric. In Europe, Italian velvets stood out, with the chiseled ones from Genoa at the head, in the 16th century. Today the textile industry considers it one of the most complex fabrics to produce since the slightest error in the production process makes it an impossible product to commercialize.

Types. Depending on the fiber used in its manufacture, a kind of velvet is obtained. The most delicate and expensive variety is the one made with silk. The most resistant velvet is made of cotton or a mixture of natural and artificial fibers. Cotton and its most popular variety, corduroy, provide a very soft finish but do not have the luster of velvet made from silk or synthetic fibers. Lyon velvet, 100% cotton, has the highest quality, body, and strength, making it the most suitable for embroidery and home decoration in upholstery, cushions, bedspreads, and, thanks to its drape and sheen, curtains.

Colors. Dark dyed colors are the best to reflect the unique characteristics of this fabric, such as its richness and texture. However, the color in which it is used can vary considerably from the style of the same piece, so a sofa upholstered in maroon velvet will have a different type than the same sofa upholstered in a pale pink tone. In addition to playing with colors, there is a very original and currently booming option to use a vintage finish, which can be achieved with different techniques of aging the fabric.

On sofas. It is the furniture par excellence to upholster with velvet and give a vintage touch to any piece, whatever its style. Any fabric, especially velvet, can change the look of sofas, seats, walls, headboards, coffee tables, poufs, or anything that can be upholstered. A velvet-upholstered sofa can be combined with cushions of the same fabric or color and play with other materials of different textures. If you combine it with the same cloth, you will get a classic result, while mixed with other fabrics and colors, you will get more cheerful spaces.

In cushions. Besides being the coziest and changing decorative elements of the house, they are the ones that define the final result of any decoration, whether it is a living room, a bedroom, an office, or a hall. In addition, they are the most wearable accessory and the easiest to renew. Decorating with velvet cushions in different colors, textures, and shapes, combined with other lighter fabrics, will bring you comfort and allow you to create casual or elegant styles. But, of course, it all depends on the feeling you want to achieve.

In chairs. Nothing is more refined than a dining table surrounded by chairs upholstered in this fabric. Velvet upholstered seating brings elegance and modernity to today's décor. Your chairs will automatically become the centerpiece of your dining room.

You can also upholster armchairs to show them off alone in a corner or stools and stools for the bathroom and dressing room. Any piece that is upholstered with this spectacular fabric will revive and bring a special touch to the room. It is not advisable to use this fabric in the kitchen because of its problematic behavior with stains. Still, if you go carefully or clean the stains instantly, it is an original and exquisite option for this space.

In headboards. Suppose you do it as a capitonné, as in the image, you will get a classic style. XXL models that decorate the wall and the bed equally with dimensions that reach almost the ceiling will fill the room with glamor and warmth. In this case, be especially careful with the fabric's color so as not to overload the room. Being a resistant fabric, it allows to upholster the headboard and do it with decorative resources such as the capitonné, edged with nails or studs, finished or finished with a wooden frame.

In curtains and textile complements. In curtains, due to their fall and texture, is where velvet shines in all its splendor, providing great elegance. Use colors that combine with the rest of the fabrics and materials of the room to create rich and elegant chromatic sets. You can also use it in blankets and plaids, both in the living room on a sofa and at the foot of the bed. If you don't dare with curtains, this is certainly your option. You'll see how a simple velvet accessory can turn your space upside down.

Cleaning and care. Whether the velvet is made of natural or synthetic fabrics, it is best to avoid washing in the washing machine, so dry cleaning is the most convenient. To remove dust on a daily basis, the ideal is to vacuum it with the upholstery accessory. Liquid stains and contact with water should be avoided. If the fabric has been stained with grease or food, wipe with a soft sponge dipped in a mixture of water and alcohol without pressing or dripping on the fabric. To avoid losing brightness and color, avoid exposing it to the sun and heat, and, if the material needs to be ironed because of wrinkles or to remove pressure marks, it can be done with steam vertically. One of the most common damages to this fabric is folds or pressure marks. To restore the pile to its original direction, it should be brushed with a soft brush, and it is advisable to do this frequently with a soft bristle brush.

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