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Plain Velvet 101

a shopping guide for the best in silk, cotton, linen and mohair

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Velvet is presumed to have been developed on the shuttle loom by the Chinese more than 4500 years ago, and was constructed of pure silk.  It was woven by the Persians about 2000 B.C., and by the Italians during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries – and was coveted by royalty and nobility.  When weavers began experimenting with mohair fiber from angora goats in the 16th century, velvet became less precious. In 1785 the mechanized loom was invented by Edmund Cartwright, which with the introduction of cotton and linen fiber versions, made velvet much more accessible.

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