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RE: period fabric...velvet/velveteen

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  • Linda
    Rick, technically velvet in period was made with extra WARP threads. These were looped up over metal rods that had grooves in them. Then the loops were cut
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 7, 2005
      Rick, 'technically' velvet in period was made with extra WARP threads.
      These were looped up over metal rods that had grooves in them. Then the
      loops were cut by passing a blade through the grooves.
      'Technically' velveteen is made by having extra WEFT threads make the
      pile loops which are cut.
      How densely these were woven depends on the looms, the weaver, the
      thickness or stiffness of the looped thread and the ground thread and
      the desired look or finish.

      Yes, there were industries that regulated the 'sealed' fabric that was
      made for trade, but I don't have the technical data that told the
      threads per inch (warp and picks) in which particular variant of velvet
      ....in fact, I don't have info on the variants! And I have not yet seen
      any info that says that there was a fabric that used the extra WEFT
      threads for the pile loops in period.....but that's not saying there
      wasn't any.

      Modernly....there are velours which are pile fabric with a knit backing,
      velvet/velveteens that also have stretch (lycra, spandex) fibers
      included, flocked fabric where the 'short fuzzy' surface is glued on,
      panne velvets with less pile per comparable area of weave but 3-4x the
      length of other pile and ironed to one direction to resemble hair, etc.
      In period there was also use of a looped, uncut pile, and long pile, as
      well as rya-type knotting which hand-tied a pile to the warp threads
      during weaving (late period as far as I can tell).

      As to modern techniques, depending on the fiber used, you can shear or
      melt the tops of the loops, and have any density you desire from
      sparsely placed pile and seeing the ground threads very clearly to not
      being able to see the ground fabric at all. I have no idea how many ways
      of cutting pile loops or setting pile there are in the industry
      nowadays!

      The problem with just saying 'velveteen' is that velveteen can look so
      many different ways. Oh yes....there's also 'plush' and waleless
      corduroy if you want to get really confusing. They can look like velvet
      and/or velveteen :-P

      So you see how frustrating it gets to me....I can say 'Yes, they did
      have a pile fabric that was like our modern velveteen.....depending."
      but that doesn't tell you much. So I have to load a lot of
      conditionals to my statement. Like: if you were royal and/or very
      wealthy (depending on which country and era you live in), you might have
      had a short/long pile, voided or solid, plain or brocaded,
      silk/linen/wool/cotton (or combinations thereof) fabric that can be
      imitated in look by a velvet or velveteen that is made today.

      No, you can't say that the modern velveteen that you are thinking about
      is perfectly period...blanket statement. But there are several modern
      velveteens that can work.

      And modern silk velvets are somewhat different from the rayon/silk
      velvets that are commonly called 'silk velvet';).

      To do this whole study right someone has got to come up with a survey of
      ground thread and pile thread densities, ground weaving densities, pile
      lengths, and classify them as to date, fiber content of ground and of
      pile, etc, etc.

      Best thing we can do, barring that, is to look at pictures.....LOTS of
      pictures ...and implement the 'ten foot' rule. For that, most modern
      cotton velveteens will work.

      Sorry if I sound like I'm babbling...there's just so much involved.
      Maria P.


      That is good stuff, and I believe that it is basically valid,
      however, is not modern velveteen made using a different technique
      than velvet is? That is velvet is woven such that the weft comes
      out as little loops that are automatically cut, but the 'pile' of
      cotton velveteen fibers are integrated in a different way.
      I don't fully understand the technique, to be honest.
      However, if that is basically true, than pre 18th C. cotton velvets
      would be like modern silk velvets with its looser hairy-ness (for
      lack of a better word) and clearly visible submatrix, and unlike
      modern velveteen which looks and feels, as you say, flocked. -Rick

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    • Rick Orli
      Thanks for the great info! -Rick ... threads.....
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 8, 2005
        Thanks for the great info!
        -Rick
        --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Linda" <fabrix@m...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Rick, 'technically' velvet in period was made with extra WARP
        threads.....
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