What is "Imitation Velvet" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 03-Mar-2024 ( ago)
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Imitation Velvet: The Affordable Luxury in Textiles

Imitation Velvet: A Comprehensive Overview

The textile industry has a rich and diverse history, marked by the invention and use of various materials that have shaped fashion and design across the centuries. One such fabric is velvet, known for its luxurious texture and aesthetic appeal. However, the cost of producing genuine velvet made it inaccessible to many, leading to the birth of 'Imitation Velvet'.

A Brief History

Originally, velvet was made from silk, making it a high-cost, luxury fabric. The manufacturing process was labor-intensive and time-consuming, making it a status symbol among the elite. However, with the advent of industrialization and advancements in textile manufacturing technologies, alternative, less expensive materials such as rayon and later, synthetic fibers like polyester began to be used to produce velvet, giving rise to 'Imitation Velvet'. This made the velvet feel accessible to the masses without compromising on its plush look and feel.

Types of Imitation Velvet

  • Crushed Imitation Velvet: This type is known for its patterned appearance, which is achieved by twisting the fabric while wet or by pressing it in a heat set.
  • Pan Imitation Velvet: This version of imitation velvet has a crushed pile which gives it a unique feel and look.
  • Stretch Imitation Velvet: This type has a bit of spandex blended into the fabric, allowing it to stretch, making it perfect for clothing.
  • Embossed Imitation Velvet: This variety has a pattern pressed into it, usually by heat, which gives a unique design to the fabric.

Handling Imitation Velvet

  • Cleaning: Most types of imitation velvet can be washed at home, but it's crucial to use a gentle cycle and avoid harsh detergents.
  • Ironing: Imitation velvet should be ironed on the reverse side at a low temperature, or use a steamer.
  • Storage: It's best to store imitation velvet items in a cool, dry place, and avoid folding them to prevent creases.

Major International Manufacturers or Users

  • Velvetex S.p.A: An Italian company known for producing high-quality imitation velvet fabrics.
  • Premiere Vision Paris: A French company that uses a variety of fabrics, including imitation velvet, in its designs.
  • Woven Velvet Company: A UK-based company that specializes in woven fabrics, including imitation velvet.
  • Parkdale Mills: A US-based textile manufacturer that produces a variety of fabrics, including imitation velvet.
  • Ningbo Comfort Industry Co.: A Chinese company known for manufacturing and selling a variety of fabrics, including imitation velvet.

Applications of Imitation Velvet

  • Clothing: Imitation velvet is extensively used in the apparel industry for designing luxuriousand plush clothing items. It is used in the making of evening wear, jackets, blouses, dresses, and ceremonial attires due to its rich texture and luminous sheen.
  • Home Furnishings: Imitation velvet is also used in home decor and furnishing items such as curtains, upholstery, cushions, and more, adding an elegant touch to the interiors.
  • Theatre and Film: The entertainment industry uses imitation velvet for creating costumes, backdrops, and props due to its visual appeal and versatility.


Imitation velvet has undeniably left an indelible imprint on the textile industry. Its affordable luxury, coupled with its ease of maintenance, has made it a go-to fabric for designers and manufacturers alike. Its rich and lustrous texture, along with its versatility, has made it a popular choice in fashion, home decor, and entertainment industries. The evolution of imitation velvet from its origins as a luxury fabric to an accessible material for all signifies the democratization of fashion and style. As we move forward, the continued innovation in textile manufacturing processes promises even more possibilities for this humble fabric.

Imitation Velvet
Plain weave with small tufts or fibers fixed by adhesive.

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