Velvet Types

Pile effect created by choice or prior treatment of pile threads:

  • Terciopelo: three strands in pile bout, ie. extra-thick pile
  • Chiné: ikat, printed or spaced-dyed pile design

Pile effect created by choice of rods:

  • Plush or peluche: extra-long pile
  • Bombé: pile formed with different sized or shaped rods, eg. wavy rods

Pile effect created by woven structure:

  • Frisé or épinglé: uncut loops or raised, long surface floats
  • Pékin: intermittent stripes of pile contrasting with exposed ground or another weave structure
  • Ciselé: combines cut and uncut loops, often through use of two subsequent rods
  • Voided: areas of foundation exposed
  • Gandin: voided velvet with exposed, patterned foundation
  • Brocaded: voided areas have inserted brocade
  • Alluciolato or firefly: weft-loops (usually metallic) scattered throughout pile (usually cut)
  • Riccio d’oro: solid brocaded areas of weft-looping, usually metallic
  • Pile-on-pile: two or more heights of pile created through use of subsequent rods
  • Sans pareil: design formed through alternating rows of raising colours, and alternating cut and uncut rows; results in pile with staggered rows
  • Liseré: voided velvet on patterned foundation weaving using two or more supplementary pattern wefts thrown edge-to-edge
  • Polychrome: two or three separate pile warps (usually contrasting colours or tones) pulled up alternately to create design, or to create mixed colours
  • Personnage: velvet depicting figures, often linked to particular narrative
  • Utrecht: figured wool polychrome pile, aka mocade or moquette
  • Chameleon: polychrome pile with long and short loop floats of different colours, cut to form long & short pile that appears iridescent
  • Chiffon: pile on a very light-weight, sheer chiffon foundation, which may be a tabby, gauze or crepe de chine weave; often patterned by means of printed devoré after-treatment (see below)
  • Double-layer: velvet made in two, face-to-face layers that are cut apart to form pile
  • Fast (W), demi-fast (staggered binding) & non-fast (V): manner in which pile is secured into foundation between every pile row, or staggered between alternating pile rows, or unsecured floats on reverse.

Pile effect created by weft, woven on simple warp:

  • Weft or trame velvet: weft pile woven on single warp, without separate pile warp; pile is typically heavier supplementary weft than main weft
  • Corduroy: weft pile created with ribs of long floats, often cut after weaving is off loom
  • Velveteen: solid weft-pile, often cotton, with structure similar to a corduroy but staggered to avoide obvious rib effect.
  • Weft-looped or bouclé: weft pile loops inserted and pulled up between warp ends
  • Knotting: supplementary weft pile inserted and wrapped around weft ends.

Pile effect created just by manner of cutting:

  • Solid: cut or uncut overall pile
  • Freehand ciselé: combines cut and uncut loops, may be freehand cutting of selected loops, or cutting stencilled design, or through a stencil.

Pile effect created through after-treatment of velvet cloth:

  • Panné: nap of pile is pressed flat in one uniform direction
  • Crushed: velvet with random wrinkles pressed in
  • Embossed or gauffré: velvet with flattened design in pile
  • Dévoré: pile removed chemically to expose areas of foundation


  • Sabre: pile formed by cutting long warp floats of a two-faced cloth to create design
  • Embroidered: pile inserted into pre-existing foundation cloth with needle
  • Tufted: pile inserted into pre-existing backing and held in place by tension, eg. rug hooking
  • Brushed: pile created by vigorous brushing up of nap of a fuzzy yarn, or vigorous agitation
  • Knitted: pile formed in a knitting technique
  • Other non-velvet piles formed through crochet, lacemaking, or other textile techniques

Posted July 14, 2019 by Veloutiere

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