Velvet Christmas | Holiday Fashion Looks
This year, velvet is back in a big way. From couture runways this past fall, to playing a part in the holiday fashion lineup of several major brands, we can’t escape velvet fever. It’s no wonder, in a time fraught with worries, and anxieties outside of the norm, compounded with regular holiday stress, we need some serious TLC. How to self sooth in a world full of crazy? With velvet of course! Velvet offers a sense of luxury, effortlessness, and comfort, all without breaking the bank (too much, thanks to modern looming techniques). And while velvet ebbs and flows in popularity, it is usually a holiday mainstay.
A History in Velvet
While the exact origins of the specific weaving technique that creates velvet are unknown, it’s believed to have originated in either China or Egypt. Pile weaves found in Egypt date to approximately 2000 BCE and uncut pile weaves that look more like the velvet of today have been found in China dated from between 400 BCE and 23 CE.
So why does velvet keep coming back year after year?
Velvet saw a heyday during the late medieval and Renaissance period across Europe and especially in Italy. In fact, the word velvet is derived from the Italian word velluto,which meansshaggy. Velvet became synonymous with luxury, royalty, and wealth because of its complex weaving technique, in which yarn was woven together on a loom between two layers of backing. This weaving technique required a special loom, making the price of velvet very expensive. Because of this, the wealthy were the only ones who could afford the fabric. As velvet spread across Europe via the Silk Road, it became even more popular. Eventually, technologically advanced looming techniques were created. This, along with industrialization, lowered the price of velvet.
Now days, it’s much easier to produce velvet. The variety of materials velvet can be made from has also expanded from the traditional silk it was made from in the past. Today, velvet can be woven from cotton, wool, linen, and synthetic fibers like rayon and polyester. Additionally, there are many techniques and styles of velvet including, crushed, devore (burnout), hammered, and embossed, to name a few. With such variety, there is a velvet to suit any need and any price point. It’s no wonder that velvet has become a staple during the holidays.
This holiday, Uttori incorporated velvet into our holiday fashion with cozy velvet blazers, shirts, and shoes. Whether you go full out velvet or add just a touch with an accessory or jacket, velvet can provide a touch of decadence and elegance to your holiday look.
Additional resources: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/velv/hd_velv.htm