A trend from the past, velvet has made a comeback in the Indian fashion sphere. With its shine and the 90s vibe, it is at the peak of the current fashion cycle. Here is some velvety advice and knowledge from its buffs.
It emanates élan like no other fabric. It speaks of elegance, fineness and brings with it a dash of nostalgia from the nineties. It is a shiny and soft second skin that can be artfully wrapped around one’s body and its comeback is no surprise.
Velvet used to be a hit and spoke of a chic culture, the vibes of which were spreading across a conservative India that was rising to modern ideas and fashion.
“90s are a big influence right now and velvet is reigning the fashion scene. Yes, it is nostalgic and pretty, and makes you feel regal. It exudes a power and panache like no other fabric,” says Tanya Dhir, a fashion designer based in Mumbai, adding, “And, there is velvet for everyone, which can be shiny, shinier and shiniest in its types.”
So, one can suit their shine and style type, and indulge in a velvety oomph. There is something for everyone – a lady, a man and even the kids. “It is versatile in that sense,” says Dhir. One can make jackets and suits with the stiffer quality and baby-suits and night-suits with its lighter qualities. There is velvet in dresses, skirts and even eyewear. It is out there for you, is trending and is the fabric to buy this winter.
“Over the past four years, velvet has been in trend and the trend has been on the rise in the last one year and will likely not fade in another year at least,” says Sandeep Jain, a fabric trader from Ludhiana.
This city in Punjab has come to be a major hub for dealings in velvet, among other fabrics, and fashion designers from India procure a big amount of their material from here. In fact, they prefer it over imported velvet because of its superior quality.
“The Indian velvet is picking up better as it is not a polyester blend and rather is a cotton blend,” explains Venkat GS, a fashion designer and fashion photographer from Tamil Nadu.
Broadly, the fabric can be classified into two kinds – 100 pc polyester velvet, which is stronger compared to the velour fabric which is made of 80 pc cotton and 20 pc polyester.
And so, catering to the demand of good quality fabric, manufacturers are making sure they deliver the rightful and in abundance. As customers and fashion followers, a little insight comes handy while shopping.
Stringing the threads together
“Velvet is a fabric that only looks good when made with high quality yarn or it ends up looking tacky. Good looking velvet is almost a luxury,” says Dhir.
Producing a silky sheet of velvet doesn’t come easy. It requires a lot of time and intricate processing. “Firstly, the fabric is weaved. It then goes for processing where loops are created, after which it goes under the process where the loops are cut very finely to give that velvety texture to the fabric. Later on, it is chemically washed and finally dyed in the desired colours,” explains Jain.
“And, it is produced in various qualities which include various GSM of the fabric which are printed, jacquard, sulphur dyed etc and the list is a long one,” he adds.
The complexities that may go in making velvet might not be reflected off its shiny and soft surface, but it is a material that seeks attention. “It needs the same care that silk does while stitching and it is important that it is tailored well,” Dhir tells us, adding, “It also needs proper care-lint and satin management.”
No doubt that it has come to be associated with indulgence, sophistication and glamour, and has a royal elusive quality about it.
“Velvet has sheen and one wearing it always has an extra confidence that they carry. It can quickly make you the centre of all attention, and hence, is not for the timid,” Dhir remarked.
Talking of the velvet run this season, Supriya Jain, a budding fashion designer from New Delhi, says, “It is in trend right now but will fade away at some point and then come back again. That is how the fashion world is. But, right now, because of the whole gypsies and 90s trending around, it is definitely at the peak of the fashion cycle.”