Velvet Fabric: Dresses This Season

Due to its costly production and thicker weave, velvet fabric has been historically associated with nobility. It is believed to have been reserved for special occasions. The fabric has become more mainstream today, but the best velvet dresses are synonymous with winter fashion. Since it is one of the only materials apart from wool, it can lend warmth and elegance. Yes, it is the go-to of the season.

It is indeed true that the velvet dress is a traditionally more refined style. Today’s modern interpretations often play with textures, colors, and silhouettes and, at the same time, offer something for everyone. The lustrous texture of royal velvet is one of the most traditional forms of fabric. The material is perfect for a gala or black-tie event, while a 90-style mini dress feels equally fresh. 

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Before you decide whether a velvet dress is too old-fashioned for you, consider these modern silhouettes. Remember that it serves the same sophistication and glamor but with an excellent and updated spin. Below is a roundup of some of the best reasons to choose velvet fabric dresses you should shop for this season.

What Is Velvet?

Velvet is a luxurious, soft fabric characterized by a dense pile of evenly cut fibers having a smooth nap. Velvet has a beautiful drape, thus making it a popular choice. Its unique soft and shiny appearance is due to the characteristics of the short pile fibers.

Interestingly, velvet means soft, which takes its meaning from its namesake fabric. The smooth, soft fabric symbolizes luxury, as it is known for its smooth nap and shiny appearance. The material has been a fixture of fashion design and is also commonly used in home decor for years. Its high-end feel and appearance often make it an ideal textile for elevated design.

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Velvet fabric is famous for evening wear and dresses, too, and you can also use it for special occasions, as the fabric was initially made from silk. You can also use linen, cotton, wool, mohair, and synthetic fibers to make velvet, thus making the material less expensive. Being less expensive, you can also incorporate it into your daily-wear clothes. Velvet is also a preferred home decor fabric, primarily used as upholstery fabric, pillows, curtains, and more.

What Are the Origins of Velvet?

Do you know that velvet was first made from silk and was incredibly expensive? Therefore, it was only accessible to the royal and noble classes. The material was first introduced in Baghdad around 750 A.D., but slowly its production spread to the Mediterranean region. Over time people distributed the fabric throughout Europe.

The new technologies helped lower the cost of production during the Renaissance period. During that period, Florence, Italy, became the dominant velvet production center.

How Is Velvet Made?

Do you know that velvet is made on a special loom known as a double cloth, which simultaneously produces two pieces of velvet? Velvet is usually characterized by its exact pile height, which is less than half a centimeter.

Today, most velvet is made from synthetic and natural fibers, but it was originally made from silk. Pure silk velvet is rare today because it is costly. Today you will find that most velvet is marketed as silk velvet that combines rayon and silk. Note that synthetic velvet can be made from nylon, polyester, viscose, or rayon.

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Given the soft, thick weave of the material, velvet dresses are so comfortable – especially if you opt for a loose or form-fitting style. Let us remember patterned velvet, like the floral prints from well-known brands, which bring an entirely new feel to the fabric.

Different Types of Velvet Fabric

Today there are several different velvet fabric types. The reason is that you can weave the material from various materials using other methods.

  1. Crushed velvet. As the name suggests, crushed velvet typically has a crushed look by twisting the fabric while it is wet or pressing the pile in different directions. Finally, the appearance is patterned and shiny, and you will find that the material has a unique texture.
  1. Panne velvet. Panne velvet is also a type of crushed velvet where heavy pressure is applied to the material to push the pile in one direction. You can notice that the same pattern can appear in knit fabrics like velour, which is usually made from polyester. 
  1. Embossed velvet. Another type of embossed velvet is a printed fabric often created via a heat stamp. During manufacturing, you must apply pressure to the velvet, thus pushing down the piles and creating a pattern. Embossed velvet is quite popular in upholstery velvet materials. You can use them in home decor and design.

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  1. Ciselé. You can create this type of patterned velvet by cutting some looped threads and then leaving others uncut.
  1. Plain velvet. Do you know that plain velvet is usually cotton velvet? It is pretty heavy, has very little stretch, and does not have the shine that velvet made from silk or synthetic fibers has.
  1. Stretch velvet. It is important to note that stretch velvet has spandex incorporated in the weave making the material stretchy and flexible.
  1. Pile-on-pile velvet. This type of velvet has piles of varying lengths which actually creates the pattern. You will find velvet upholstery fabric containing this type of velvet.

What Is the Difference Between Velvet, Velveteen, and Velour?

Velvet, velveteen, and velour are all drapey, soft fabrics, but they differ in terms of the weave and composition.

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The material has the longest pile often compared to velour and velveteen. Shiny and soft, it is used throughout the wardrobe – from fashionable evening wear to casual pieces. No matter which fiber velvet is made from, it can turn any piece of clothing into a high-end luxury item.


It is a knitted fabric often made from polyester and cotton that resembles velvet. Moreover, it has more stretch than velvet. It is excellent for dancing and sports clothes, particularly tracksuits and leotards.

This is the knitted version of velvet invented way back in 1844 in France. The material is usually made of cotton or a cotton blend. The fabric is stretchier than velvet but also has a similar drape. It is ideal for dancewear and sports clothes. You will also find it being used in the fashion world and interiors. You can also use velour fabric for curtains, drapes, and blankets.


Velveteen pile is a much shorter pile than a velvet pile. Instead of creating the pile from the vertical warp threads, the velveteens pile usually comes from the horizontal weft threads. Moreover, velveteen is heavier and has less shine and drape than velvet, making it softer and smoother. The material is usually made of cotton or a cotton/silk blend.  

As the name suggests, velveteen resembles velvet but is not as dense and soft. Its pile is shorter, meaning at most 3 mm deep. You will notice less drape and shine if you compare velveteen to velvet. The thick and durable velveteen also sews well into warm dresses, trousers, skirts, coats, waistcoats, etc. It is also ideal for casual wear.

To sum it up, all three may look the same, but they differ in terms of the drape, feel, and even texture. If you are still deciding what to choose for your future dress or jacket, here is a tip: opt for natural fibers rather than synthetics. The reason being they feel nice, comfortable and adapt to your body. Natural fabrics cost more initially but think of it as an investment in the long run in terms of your style, comfort, and even health.

Plush may look quite similar to velvet, but these are completely different species. Be careful when you buy them. Plush is typically made of 100 percent polyester and has a very long pile, and is soft to the touch. Compared to velvet, the pile is less dense than plush. Remember that plush fabric makes cozy pajamas, robes, and stuffed toys.

Velvet Fashion Tips

Velvet, as you know, is a pretty demanding fabric in terms of style. It has a very distinctive texture and sheen. Are you planning to add velvet to your wardrobe? Here are some tips:

Indeed, the time’s velvet was considered an attribute of the nobility which has long gone. These days, you can easily sport a velvet skirt with your favorite sweatshirt or a velvet jacket with formal trousers. As long as velvet retains a certain fleur of luxury – it will be difficult to create your casual look – you can easily slip into overdressing.

Stick to minimalism with velvet, and do not put on several clothes at once. This rule will also apply to velvet shoes made of the same fabric as your dress. If your figure can be described as curvaceous, try avoiding close-fitting dresses.

Remember that a person dressed in velvet is always in the middle of everyone’s attention. The fabric attracts the views, so your accuracy on the stage of accessories selection will guarantee your tasteful and sophisticated l look. Here are some of the main pieces:

  1. Choose classic accessories like a golden chain, a ring without massive stones, or even a simple necklace. This fabric also requires you to wear several accessories but only put on up to two pieces of jewelry at a time.
  1. Depending on your dress style, a tiny leather belt is good to go. 
  1. Handbags matter here as well. Try to get one that matches the dress.  

In Summary

It is important to note that, especially for budding fashion designers – understanding the feel and characteristics of different fabrics is key. No matter your style, you will indeed find a sequined velvet dress perfect for you at AlesayiFashion. So go ahead and indulge in a bit of luxury, especially this holiday season.

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