Velvet is a soft fabric characterized by a dense pile of evenly cut fibers with a smooth nap. It was initially made of silk and therefore very expensive – used as a material for evening wear and dresses for special occasions only. Today, other materials are also used for making velvet, such as cotton, linen and synthetic fibers, making it more affordable, but still luxurious. With its shiny appearance and plush feel, velvet is incorporated not only in fashion design, but also as a fixture of home décor, in the form of cushions, curtains, upholstery fabric and more.
Introducing Velvet to Your Home Décor
Velvet has always been favoured for its glamorous reflective qualities that fit perfectly in any room lighting. Velvet cushions come in different colours and shades and are the most effective way to add a touch of luxury to your home and here are some of the benefits these cushions offer to your home interior.
Timeless Look – Velvet has a long history, and has been associated with royal and noble classes and ceremonial robes over the centuries. Adding a velvet cushion to your sofa or bed can bring a sense of old-times charm to the room, and you can’t go wrong with it. If you want to include some modern motifs, you can choose from a number of plain designs, contemporary patchworks and animal print creations that will enrich your home décor.
Softness – You can create your favourite spot in the lounge with a few sofa cushions, give an extravagant look to your bedroom with new cushion covers, or even upgrade the sitting area in your dining room by choosing from a wide range of velvet cushions. To avoid overwhelming the interior with velvet, layer up cushions in different fabrics, such as linen, cotton, polyester that will soften the look.
Refreshment – When decorating with cushions velvet allows creative and endless opportunities if you like playing with styles. You can use them for country style interiors, retro and modern, contemporary approach to your home, depending on your preference. In some cases, simply a plain velvet cushion can make a design statement.
Perfect Match – Velvet cushion covers match well with many other fabrics, thanks to their sophisticated look. You can perfectly match velvet with fur or silk, or create a contrasting effect over linen or cotton, whether plain or printed.
Long-Lasting Colour – If not exposed to direct sunlight, velvet cushion covers will keep their vibrant colours, highlighted subtle shades and coordinated patterned designs for a very long time.
Pile is the raised surface of the fabric that gives velvet its soft surface, while nap stands for the direction the fibers lie. Most velvets are directional and reflect light differently, depending on the nap’s direction. That makes velvet visually appealing, looking lighter or darker when you run your hand across its plush surface.
Types of Velvet
As velvet can be made from natural fibers, synthetic products, or a combination, here are some of the most common types of cushions on the market.
Silk Velvet – Luxurious, soft and smooth, this type of cushions is the best choice for home décor pieces that will not get heavy use and not exposed to direct sunlight.
Cotton Velvet – This type of cushions has a matte finish, it’s soft and smooth, but can crush easily. That’s why cotton velvet is very often blended with another fiber, like high quality polyester that improves its durability. Same as the silk velvet, it’s recommendable not to be exposed to direct sunlight.
Synthetic Velvet – Usually made of polyester, these cushions are not prone to marking or crushing, but may not have the same depth of colour as natural fabrics. For this matter, the production of synthetic velvet has improved significantly over time. However, some manufacturers still prefer to blend synthetic and natural fibers and get the best out of both. Synthetic velvet can resist fading, but it’s always better to keep it away from direct sunlight.
Linen Velvet – This type of velvet takes dye very well, which results in a deep and rich colour. These cushions have matte look and very often come with irregular striping because linen yards have different thicknesses. Linen velvet is a breathable material, very popular in warmer climates, but it can crush easily if not properly taken care of.
Wool Velvet – This is a durable and flexible material, mainly used in colder climates as it’s warm to the touch.
How to Care for Your Velvet Cushions
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to take proper care of your velvet accessories. Velvet is known to be challenging to maintain and may require more attention than other fabrics, however, most people agree that it’s worth it.
If you’re a pet owner, you should know that pet hair will end up on your velvet cushion covers, but the good news is you can easily brush it off with a soft brush or velvet brush. Another way to avoid pet hair on your velvet is to consider cushions in a colour that matches your pet’s hair colour. It will not save you from brushing away the hairs, but it will be less visible. For all cat owners, here is an interesting fact you’ll love about velvet – cats can’t get their claws into velvet as easily as they can into other fabrics with an obvious weave, so that’s why many times they keep their claws away of it.
In order to avoid crush marks on your velvet cushion covers, rotate the cushions regularly and prevent pressure marks from arms, elbows, and where the cushions rest on each other. Keep in mind that wrinkles can mark the velvet, so plump your cushions every now and then, so they will look wrinkle-free all the time. In case your cushions get crush marks, brush gently in the direction of the nap and if the fabric code allows it, use water-based cleaning solutions, spray the area that has crushed with clean water and then brush gently.
For spillages, first, try to shake off the liquid and prevent it from soaking in the velvet, then dab the area with a clean white cloth, from the outside towards the centre and avoid creating a larger wet spot. Never rub or use pressure because it can flatten the pile. If there is a stain, look for the manufacturer’s care instructions and follow them accordingly.