Velvet is the most luxurious, shiny, and expensive fabric of all three! It has a high pile, and is the thickest of the whole group. It is usually made up of a blend of silk, rayon, or polyester. It’s nap is made up of long loops, and can be darker or lighter depending on the direction you push with your hand. The long loops help give the fabric a smooth texture. As a woven there is no stretch, but it has excellent drapability. It is also generally made with long filament fibers, that adds to its pristine reputation of only using the best fibers!
Velour is a stretchy knit, that has a medium weight pile. It’s loops are cut, and this gives the fabric a more of a semi-shiny finish, depending on where the light hits it. Velour greatly resembles Velvet, but is generally used for more casual clothing. It is usually characterized with a smooth and malleable drape like Velvet, but with the comfort of having stretch. Velour can be made up of polyester or spandex, so it can be washed.
Velveteen has the shortest pile of all, and is a lot stiffer compared to the rest of the group. It’s stiff characterisitics cause the fabric to lay flat, and does not drape well. It’s similar to coruduroy in a way, and it also generally less shiny, and more matte, making it great for upholstery applications. The nap for Velveteen is very short cut loops, and the fabric does not have any stretch, as it is usually woven. It can be made up of cotton and wool, however over the years wool has become an uncommon trend for this fabric.
There is new technology emerging everyday in the production of Velvet, and Velvet-like fabric products. Velvet can be made with cotton, elastane, or combined with other fibers we’ve never even heard of yet! However, we find these facts above helpful to differentiate the differences between Velvet, Velour, and Velveteen, so hopefully it helps you too!
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