Due to how similar they are in nature, velvet and velour fabrics are often confused for one another by those unfamiliar with such materials—it doesn’t help that their names are so similar as well. So in order to decide which one you should choose between velvet and velour, let’s take a look at what defines the two and what advantages they have to offer.
What Is Velvet?
Velvet is considered the “precursor” fabric to velour. Traditionally, the knit fabric of velvet is silk-based and has more of a sheen thanks to the fiber used within the woven fabric. Because of these knitted fibers, velvet is distinguishably heavier than velour.
Historically, velvet has been around for centuries and was first popularized as a refined fabric made into expensive garments only nobility could afford on account of being harder to come by than other fabrics of the time period.
What Is Velour?
Velour is a napped, cut pile knit fabric made from a cotton blend or entirely of synthetic polyester fibers. This synthetic design makes velour lighter than velvet and gives it an inherent flame retardance, as approved by the National Fire Protection Association. This inherent property means the fabric will never lose this flame resistance no matter how often it is washed.
Derived from the French word for “velvet,” velour didn’t appear until the middle of the 1800s. It quickly rose to prominence, however, as the cost of production was much cheaper than that of traditional velvet and thus became accessible to more than just the upper classes. While it had a surge of popularity in fashion during the 1970s, you now most often find velour in drapery or upholstery.
Choosing Your Fabric
Now that you know more about the two, we can better discuss which you should choose between velvet versus velour. Obviously, the first point to consider is your budget. Velour will be cheaper to obtain and thus allow you to obtain more of it, but with velvet’s higher price tag comes a greater quality and appearance. Crushed velvet material creates a one of a kind texture that further enhances the unique softness and fuller feel of velvet. Velour, on the other hand, doesn’t have that kind of variation in appearance but is still soft and plush to the touch.