Velvet Fabric for Interiors by Designer, Becca Who on Chaise Upholstery by Seated Studio

Velvet Fabrics | Exploring the Timeless Elegance of Velvet for Curtains, Upholstery and Soft Furnishings

Velvet Fabric has always played a pivotal role in the realm of interior design, defining the ambiance and aesthetic appeal of a space. Amongst a myriad of available fabrics, velvet stands apart for its opulence, richness, and timeless allure. The luxurious texture and sumptuous appearance make velvet fabrics a perennial favourite for creating sophisticated and inviting interiors, whether for upholstered furniture, curtains, blinds, cushions or any soft furnishings.

Today, velvet transcends it’s historical roots and we can enjoy this fabric being widely available, with the variations in materials used and diverse aesthetics amongst a wealth of designs to choose from in the digital age. Amidst it’s widespread accessibility today, the enduring allure of velvet owes much to it’s legacy of opulence and exclusivity, a heritage which continues to shape and perpetuate the enduring popularity of this fabric.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of velvet fabric, exploring some of it’s history, characteristics, versatile applications, care tips, and why it endures as a coveted choice in interior design.

 Plain Velvet Fabric Designer Textiles

A Fascinating History and Evolution of Velvet Fabrics

Velvet, with its origins steeped in antiquity, holds a fascinating history that spans across continents and centuries, evolving from a symbol of opulence reserved for the elite to a versatile and popular fabric, accessible to many.

Velvet's origins can be traced back centuries, with it’s roots in the Middle East during ancient times. Dating back to at least 2000 BCE, the birth of velvet can be traced particularly to the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Initially velvet was exclusively crafted from silk, a luxurious and rare material at the time, signifying wealth, status, and regal power. Rulers and elites in the Middle East, were known for their affinity for opulent fabrics and sumptuous garments. The cultural and artistic legacy of the region during this period highlights a profound appreciation for exquisite textiles and craftsmanship, suggesting a widespread admiration for fabrics like velvet among the ruling class and aristocracy. These textiles were often used in ceremonial attire, courtly garments, and in furnishing palaces and grand residences, signifying wealth, power, and sophistication. Velvet, along with other rich textiles, would have been highly valued for it’s luxurious texture, captivating shimmering appearance and intricate craftsmanship, making it a sought after fabric.

One historical figure known for his affinity for velvet fabric was King Henry VIII of England, who ruled from 1509 to 1547. King Henry’s fondness for luxurious garments, particularly those crafted from velvet, was well documented and he was known for his lavish and extravagant lifestyle, often dressing in sumptuous clothing made from the finest materials of the time. Henry VIII’s court was renowned for its opulence and grandeur, and the king himself was often depicted in portraits wearing elaborate robes and tunics. Henry VIII's preference for velvet attire, adorned with intricate embroidery and embellishments, reflected his status as a powerful, wealthy monarch and contributed to the perception of his regal splendour.

King Henry VIII enjoyed luxury Fabrics such as Velvet

Historical Techniques of Producing Velvet

The historical technique of producing velvet was a meticulous and labour intensive craft that required a high level of skill and precision from artisans. The process involved the careful weaving of two layers of fabric, often silk in its early origins. The two layers were intricately interwoven, creating a dense structure that formed the foundation for the luxurious texture that velvet is known for.

Once the double layered fabric was woven, the next step involved shearing the loops that protruded from the surface. This delicate task required artisans to meticulously trim the threads, leaving behind a dense, short pile of soft fibres. The precision in this shearing process was crucial to achieving the desired plushness and velvety texture.

The result of this laborious craftsmanship was a fabric with a remarkably soft surface, characterised by a dense and even pile. The distinctive feature of velvet lies in its unique ability to catch and reflect light, creating a lustrous sheen that adds to its luxurious appearance.

The time consuming nature of this traditional velvet production process meant that each piece of velvet was a testament to the artisan's skill and dedication. This manual craftsmanship added to the exclusivity and prestige of velvet, making it a symbol of luxury throughout history. While modern manufacturing techniques have evolved to include more automated processes, the historical method of producing velvet remains a testament to the intricate artistry and craftsmanship that has defined this sumptuous fabric for centuries.

The Evolution and Spread of Velvet Fabric

As trade routes expanded, the appeal of velvet spread across continents, reaching Europe during the Renaissance. Italy, and in particular the city of Venice, became a significant hub for velvet production and refinement. Venetian artisans mastered the art of velvet weaving, enhancing its quality and diversity by incorporating various fibres such as cotton, wool, and later, with innovations in weaving technology during the Industrial Revolution, synthetic materials like rayon. Whilst velvet initially remained a luxury fabric, with it’s production techniques continuing to evolve, velvet became a more accessible fabric, available to a wider audience. Transforming from an exclusive luxury item worn by the elite, velvet gradually became a more affordable fabric that could be enjoyed by a broader spectrum of society.

Velvet Fabric for Interiors, Upholstery on Sofa by Designer, Becca Who

Contemporary Adaptation and Global Influence

Today, velvet has found its place in diverse cultures and design aesthetics worldwide. It’s versatility extends beyond traditional silk velvet, with variations like crushed velvet, velveteen, and upholstery velvet, each offering distinct textures and appearances suitable for a myriad of applications.

The Enduring Popularity of Velvet Fabrics

Despite the passage of time and ever evolving trends in fashion and interior design, velvet's timeless appeal endures. Its rich history, association with luxury, and the enduring charm of it’s plush texture continue to captivate artists and interior designers alike, ensuring its continued prominence in the world of textiles and home interiors.

In essence, velvet's evolution from an exclusive symbol of status to a versatile and accessible fabric, mirrors it’s journey from ancient craftsmanship to contemporary innovation, solidifying its place as a cherished and enduring textile in the tapestry of human history and design.

Historical Use of Velvet Fabric in Interior Design

Throughout history, velvet has played a pivotal role in shaping the opulence and grandeur of interior spaces, particularly during periods of artistic and cultural flourishing. In the Renaissance and Baroque eras, velvet was a fabric synonymous with luxury, often adorning the interiors of palaces, castles, and grand estates. Its rich, plush texture and lustrous sheen made it the fabric of choice for upholstery, draperies, and wall coverings in the chambers of royalty and nobility.

In historical interior design, velvet was often employed to evoke a sense of grandiosity and sophistication. Thrones and ornate chairs were upholstered in velvet, creating regal focal points within palatial rooms. Elaborate curtains and tapestries, featuring intricate patterns and designs, added to the visual splendour of noble residences. The deep, saturated colours of velvet, ranging from royal reds to luxurious purples, enhanced the overall ambiance of these spaces, creating an atmosphere of richness and refinement.

Velvet Fabric for Interiors Printed Floral by Designer Becca Who

Printed Velvet Fabric in Modern Interiors

As we traverse into the modern era, the use of printed velvet in interior design has undergone a transformative evolution. Digital printing technology has revolutionised the possibilities for incorporating intricate and customised designs onto velvet fabrics. This innovation has breathed new life into velvet, making it a versatile and dynamic choice for contemporary home decor.

Printed velvet, with its ability to showcase vibrant colours and intricate patterns, is now a staple in modern interior design. From organic motifs to abstract art inspired prints, the range of designs available on printed velvet allows for a personalised and expressive approach to decorating living spaces. Upholstered furniture, accent cushions, and statement curtains adorned with rich designs, contribute to a modern aesthetic that seamlessly combines luxury with individuality.

The integration of printed velvet in modern interiors brings forth a fusion of tradition and innovation. While the luxurious feel and timeless elegance of velvet endure, the introduction of digital printing techniques adds a layer of adaptability and creativity to its application in contemporary design. Velvet, once associated with historical grandeur, now finds its place in diverse and eclectic interiors, embodying the enduring appeal of this sumptuous fabric across the ages.


Velvet Fabric for Upholstery by Designer, Becca Who, with Black and Gold Pattern on Antique Chair

Above pictured: Crocodilia Designer Velvet Fabric by Becca Who - Upholstery by Wink and Beam

The Versatility of Velvet in Interior Design

Velvet's versatility makes it a coveted choice for an array of interior design applications. From upholstery to curtains, scatter cushions to lampshades, velvet is always an adaptable choice. In contemporary design, velvet sits beautifully with both traditional and modern settings, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.


Velvet Upholstery Fabric by Designer Becca Who with dark floral pattern

Velvet Fabric for Upholstery

One of the primary domains where velvet shines is in upholstery. Upholstery stands out as a canvas for expressing both comfort and aesthetic refinement, and velvet fabrics take centre stage as a luxurious choice that transcends mere functionality.

Velvet's appeal for upholstery begins with it's sumptuous texture. The inherent softness and plushness of velvet fabric make it an ideal material for creating seating arrangements that invite relaxation and indulgence.

Velvet effortlessly lends itself to a variety of seating elements. Velvet upholstered sofas, or footstools, with their smooth and inviting surfaces and array of available designs, become not just pieces of furniture but focal points that redefine the ambiance of a living space. Armchairs draped in velvet exude a sense of timeless elegance, while ottomans become luxurious accents, both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

What sets velvet upholstery apart is it's ability to redefine the very essence of a living space. The fabric's rich history as a symbol of opulence resonates through velvet upholstered furniture, creating an atmosphere of refined luxury. The interplay of light on the plush pile adds depth to the colours, enhancing the overall visual appeal and transforming the seating into a visual and tactile masterpiece.

Velvet's adaptability is further exemplified by it’s ability to be enhanced by a diverse colour palette. The fabric's ability to absorb and reflect light contributes to the dynamic play of hues, creating a rich visual experience. Whether in vibrant jewel tones that command attention or muted neutrals that exude understated sophistication, velvet upholstery allows for a personalised, creative touch in interior design.

Incorporating velvet upholstery creates an undeniable focal point within a room. The juxtaposition of the smooth, lustrous velvet against other textures and materials in the space enhances the overall design narrative, drawing the eye and imparting a sense of opulence to the space. Velvet upholstered furniture becomes not just a functional component but a statement piece, commanding attention and admiration.


Velvet Fabric for Upholstery and Soft Furnishings in bold Violet by Designer, Becca Who

Velvet Fabric for Curtains and Blinds

The choice of fabrics for curtains is a pivotal aspect of interior design, where velvet emerges as an exquisite choice, weaving a tale of luxury and sophistication through its unique characteristics. The interplay of light and shadow on the plush surface of velvet adds depth and texture to window treatments, enhancing the overall ambiance of the space. Velvet curtains contribute to a warm and inviting atmosphere, making a statement that goes beyond mere window coverings.

Velvet's inherent weight and drape elevate it to a premier option for curtains. The fabric's heft ensures that curtains made from velvet fall gracefully, creating a cascade of luxurious material. The way velvet delicately envelops windows adds an element of opulence that is both tactile and visual, setting the stage for interiors with impact. The fabric's lush texture and deep, saturated colours draw the eye, enhancing the architectural features of the window.

Velvet curtains and blinds seamlessly traverse both traditional interiors and contemporary settings, adapting to the character of the space with unparalleled finesse. In traditional home decor, where precision and sophistication are paramount, velvet curtains frame windows with a regal air, creating an ambiance of refined elegance. In more contemporary or eclectic living spaces, velvet blinds introduce a touch of luxury, whilst offering a versatile solution that suits a range of design sensibilities.


Velvet Fabric for Curtains in Mustard Yellow by Designer, Becca Who

Velvet Fabric for Home Accessories

Adding decorative elements to interiors, velvet finds its way into scatter cushions, lampshades and more, providing a tactile and visually pleasing environment. The softness of velvet against the skin transforms a room into a haven of comfort and style. Whether vibrant, bold patterned velvet, softer designs in pastel colours - or whether a patterned velvet is used alongside a coordinating plain fabric for a unique, personalised look, velvet introduces a sense of indulgence, creating a space with character.

 Velvet Fabric for Interiors Soft Furnishings and Upholstery with Pattern by Designer, Becca Who


Patterned Velvet Designer Fabric: A Contemporary Triumph in Interior Design

Recent years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of patterned velvets within the realm of contemporary interior design. Designers are increasingly turning to this sumptuous fabric, not just for its luxurious texture but also for the visual drama and sophistication that well executed patterns bring to interiors. The possibilities this opens up for interiors are creative, expressive and impactful.


A Fusion of Elegance and Expression

Contemporary designers are navigating away from the conventional and embracing the versatility of patterned velvet to create spaces that blend elegance with individual expression. The once predominantly solid coloured, plain velvet has evolved into a canvas for intricate and bold patterns, offering a rich tapestry of design possibilities.


Breaking Traditions with Patterned Velvet Fabric

Patterned velvet fabrics represent a departure from traditional design norms. Whilst plain velvets exude a timeless charm, patterns inject a modern and dynamic element into interiors. This departure is reflective of a broader trend in contemporary design, where the boundaries of convention are readily pushed to create visually arresting and personalised spaces. With a mind to the effect on the planet, we are inspired to choose more timeless designs with lasting appeal, perhaps of personal significance or as an expression of our unique tastes.

 Velvet Fabric for Interiors, Soft Furnishings and Upholstery with pattern by Designer, Becca Who


Endless Design Options with Patterns on Velvet

One of the key attractions of patterned velvet is the vast array of design options available. Contemporary designers are exploring botanical motifs, abstract patterns, and even whimsical designs and conversational prints to infuse spaces with character and uniqueness. This diversity allows for a personalised touch to our home decor, ensuring that each interior featuring patterned velvet becomes a bespoke creation.

Those who choose Becca Who patterned velvet fabrics, enjoy a dramatic, creative result in their home interiors. Many examples of uses of Becca Who patterned designer velvet can be found in our Upholstery Gallery, Curtains and Blinds Gallery or on the Becca Who Instagram Page.


Visual Texture and Tactile Luxury

Patterned velvet fabric not only captivates the eye but also invites touch. The tactile luxury of velvet, combined with intricate patterns, creates a multi-sensory experience within interiors. This emphasis on both visual and tactile elements adds layers of sophistication, making patterned velvet a perfect choice for those who seek to engage with their living spaces on a deeper level.

Versatility Across Design Styles

Another compelling aspect of patterned velvet fabrics’ contemporary popularity is its ability to integrate into various design styles. Whether adorning a mid-century modern lounge, a modern farmhouse, country cottage interior or enhancing the opulence of a classic Victorian inspired setting, patterned velvet fabrics are versatile to the aesthetic preferences of contemporary designers.

Bold Statements and Focal Points in Interiors with Velvet

Contemporary interior designers are using patterned velvets strategically to create bold statements and focal points within interiors. Whether applied to accent chairs, scatter cushions, or upholstered sofas, artistic patterns draw the eye, adding a layer of intrigue and drama to the overall design scheme.

The Becca Who Velvet Fabric Collection is always designed with motif placement at the forefront of the design process. Those who choose Becca Who fabrics, enjoy the results of creative placement of the design elements. A detailed dragonfly showcasing it's intricate wings centred on an ottoman lid, the majestic features of a Benga Tiger positioned on a chair back, or the unexpected touch of an adder snake curled up on a chair arm rest are details which make for memorable furniture pieces to be treasured and enjoyed.

The Influence of Nature and Art

Many contemporary designers are drawing inspiration from nature and art when creating their designs for patterned velvet fabrics. From florals that evoke a sense of botanical gardens to abstract patterns reminiscent of modern art, these designs transform interiors into curated spaces that tell a unique visual story.

The Intersection of Tradition and Innovation

Patterned velvet allows contemporary designers to strike a balance between traditional elegance and innovative design. By infusing classic velvet with modern patterns, they celebrate the time honoured appeal of the fabric whilst catering to the evolving tastes of today's design enthusiasts. The resurgence of patterned velvet in contemporary interior design marks a departure from the ordinary, introducing a level of creativity and individuality that resonates with the modern aesthetic. As designers continue to experiment with patterns, pushing the boundaries of what is considered conventional, patterned velvet fabrics stand as a testament to the enduring appeal of this luxurious fabric in the evolving world of interior design. Whether used sparingly for subtle sophistication or boldly for maximum impact, patterned velvet has secured its place as a design element that captivates and inspires in equal measure.

Matching a Plain Velvet To Your Chosen Patterned Fabric For Beautifully, Unique Interiors

In the realm of interiors, the fabric you choose for your upholstery and soft furnishings can lead the entire aesthetic of a room. Fabric colours and patterned designs play a vital role in creating a cohesive and visually pleasing space. If you've ever had the perfect patterned fabric in mind, but couldn't find the right plain fabric to match, you’ll be pleased to know that Becca Who offers a bespoke matching service – for you to transform your dream coordinating upholstery and soft furnishings into a reality.

Choosing a Coordinating Plain Velvet Fabric to sit alongside a Patterned Fabric is an enjoyable process where you can really get creative about your interior project. Whether you’re looking for unique upholstered furniture, or quality customised soft furnishings to perfectly suit your interior scheme, the finished result of featuring coordinating fabrics can bring such beautiful impact to your space and is entirely bespoke to you.


Select Your Becca Who Patterned Velvet Fabric and We Will Match to Any Colour in the Design for Your Bespoke Coordinating Plain Velvet Fabric

Having selected a patterned Becca Who Velvet Fabric in your preferred design and colour way, you may wish to use a bespoke plain fabric alongside it, to perfectly match with colours in your chosen design. This could be for contrasting panels, piping or buttons on an upholstered piece, tie backs for curtains, trims for cushions – or anything else that you can imagine.

By choosing our Bespoke Coordinating Plain Velvet Fabric, you can enjoy continuity of texture, pile and sheen across the whole project in both your patterned and your plain velvet fabric - as the patterned and plain will be of the same base cloth.

We are very happy to accommodate printing your desired plain colour and will liaise with you personally to ensure that the exact colour is supplied for your plain fabric.

View Becca Who Bespoke Coordinating Plain Velvet


Velvet Fabric for Interiors and Upholstery by Designer, Becca WhoAbove pictured: Eden Designer Velvet Fabric by Becca Who - Upholstery by Unseen Icons

Choosing a Designer Velvet Fabric for Your Interior

Embarking on the journey of selecting a designer velvet fabric for your living space is not only about decorating; it's a creative odyssey that empowers you to infuse your personal style and preferences into the very fabric of your home.

Here we outline key points to consider when choosing a velvet fabric for your home - For an even more in depth look at any of these points, read our blog post on How To Choose Designer Fabrics for Your Living Space | A Comprehensive Guide

The Distinctive Appeal of Velvet Fabrics for Interiors

Designer fabrics, distinguished by their elegance and uniqueness, are a testament to meticulous craftsmanship. Crafted with sumptuous textures, captivating colours, and intricate patterns, velvet fabrics offer a unique opportunity to infuse opulence and individuality into your living space.

The Emotional Impact of Interior Design

Much more than arranging furniture or selecting colour palettes, interior design is about creating an environment which resonates with us on a deeply personal level. The ambiance, textures, colours, and spatial layout work together to shape our daily experiences and emotions within our living spaces. Carefully chosen designer fabrics contribute to comfort and visual appeal, playing a pivotal role in fostering positive emotions and in turn, nurturing our well being.

The Impact of Fabric Colours and Textures in a Living Space

Colours hold the power to evoke a wide range of feelings. Soft pastels and muted tones can create a sense of calm and tranquility, whilst vibrant and bold colours inject energy and enthusiasm into a room. Fabric textures, such as the plushness of velvet, enhance comfort and warmth, creating inviting environments that engage our senses on a daily basis.


Interior Layout and Spatial Design

The layout and spatial design of a room can significantly influence our emotions and interactions within the space. An open and airy layout fosters a sense of freedom, whilst cosy, defined spaces provide a feeling of security and intimacy. Thoughtful positioning of furniture and soft furnishings can dramatically affect how we experience and navigate our living spaces.


Personalising Your Space

To create a space with a strong sense of identity and emotional connection, we can look to incorporate personal elements like art, mementos, or cherished heirlooms. These elements tell the story of our lives and create a sense of belonging within our homes. Re-upholstering a treasured furniture heirloom can be a truly special way to maintain a connection to our family history or to reminisce about times gone by.


The Artistic Splendour of Designer Velvet Fabrics

Designer fabrics, particularly velvet, unfold a world of artistic brilliance. From intricate hand rendered patterns to richly hued textures, these fabrics open the door to a diverse array of artistic expressions. Each fabric is a work of art, carefully thought out from start to finish, offering not only practicality but also an artistic communication that resonates with individual moods, inspirations, themes, and styles.


Why Choose Designer Fabrics? Quality and Creativity

One of the hallmarks of designer velvet fabrics lies in their unmatched quality and exquisite artisan process. Following a meticulous design process, designers will look to expert production to ensure that the final fabrics are produced with quality materials, guaranteeing a durability and longevity that surpasses mass-produced, cheaper alternatives. Selecting a designer fabric is an investment in quality and a commitment to enduring beauty and sophistication.

Bold, Expressive Designer Velvet Fabrics

When selecting fabrics for soft furnishings and upholstery, it's crucial to embrace your unique style and to let your creative instincts soar. This is your chance to explore expressive velvet fabrics that authentically mirror your personality. Rather than settling for the ordinary, we can imbue our living spaces with fabrics which evoke emotions and make a bold artistic statement. By venturing beyond the conventional, we can craft an environment which serves as a genuine reflection of our individuality and creative vision.

Velvet Upholstery Fabric in Bold Violet with Pattern by Designer Becca WhoAbove pictured: Amazon Trip Designer Velvet Fabric by Becca Who - Upholstery by Unseen Icons

Considerations for Your Interior When Selecting Fabrics

Every living space possesses its unique characteristics, from size and lighting to architectural elements. These attributes naturally play a pivotal role in your choice of fabrics. Understanding your living space's dimensions and unique attributes allows you to make informed decisions that enhance your living space's aesthetics and functionality.

Choosing Fabric Patterns and Colours

Selecting patterns and colours of fabrics enables you to infuse your living room with captivating designs and thought provoking prints that serve as focal points. In exploring designer fabrics that showcase artistic flair, we can create a special space and leave a lasting impression on visitors.

Choosing Colours of Fabrics for an Interior

When selecting colours for interior fabrics, we have the opportunity to craft a living space that exudes both opulence and versatility. Explore a spectrum of colours, from bold and jewel tones to pastels and neutrals, to transform your living room into an expressive sanctuary.

Utilise Fabric Samples

Once you've honed in on your preferences for your space, it's crucial to acquire samples of any designer fabrics that pique your interest. Samples are an opportunity to have a close look at the texture and quality of the fabrics in which we are interested. By first handling and looking at samples, we ensure that the final choices meet and even exceed our expectations, transforming our interior in a way which we will love and enjoy.

Explore Velvet Fabric Samples by Becca Who

Looking to Expert Guidance and Inspiration for Your Designer Fabric Selection

Embarking on a journey with designer fabrics unveils a world of inspiration and expert guidance. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or uncertain when it comes to selecting the perfect fabrics for your living space, don't hesitate to turn to the expertise of professional interior designers.

Care and Maintenance of Velvet Fabric

Velvet enjoys a good level of durability, making it an excellent choice for the home. Proper care is still essential to maintain its luxurious appearance. Regular vacuuming with a soft brush attachment helps prevent dust and dirt from settling into the fabric. Spot cleaning with a gentle upholstery cleaner is usually recommended for stains, whilst some velvet fabrics are dry clean only - and professional cleaning is always advisable for deeper cleaning needs.

Explore all available Velvet Fabrics for Interiors by Becca Who


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