Velvet is woven on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of velvet at the same time.   The two pieces are then cut apart to create the pile effect, and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls.   Velvet was expensive to make before industrial power looms became available.   Velvet pile is created by warp or vertical yarns and velveteen pile is created by weft or fill yarns.  Velvet can be made from many different kinds of fibers, traditionally silk. Velvet made entirely from silk has market prices of several hundred US dollars per yard.  Our model is Amanda Dahlquist.

Traditionally, velvet is associated with nobility.  Velvet was introduced to Baghdad during the rule of Harun al-Rashid by Kashmiri merchants and to Al-Andalus by Ziryab. In the Mamluk era, Cairo was the world’s largest producer of velvet. Much of it was exported to Venice, Al-Andalus  and the Mali Empire. Musa I of Mali, the ruler of the Mali Empire, visited Cairo on his pilgrimage to Mecca.

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Many Arab velvet makers accompanied him back to Timbuktu. Later Ibn Battuta mentions how Suleyman (mansa) the ruler of Mali wore a locally produced complete crimson Velvet caftan on Eid. During the reign of Mehmed II, assistant cooks wore blue-colored dresses (câme-i kebûd), conical hats (külâh) and baggy trousers (çaksir) made from Bursa velvet. 

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King Richard the II of England directed in his will that his body should be clothed in velveto in 1399. The earliest sources of European artistic velvets were Lucca, Genoa, Florence and Venice, which continued to send out rich velvet textures. Somewhat later the art was taken up by Flemish weavers, and in the sixteenth century, Bruges attained a reputation for velvets that were not inferior to those of the great Italian cities.


|M|akeup |P|hotography |H|air  +  Geino Äotsch

Text via Geino & Wikipedia

Velvet | Featuring: Amanda Dahlquist



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