What’s the Difference Between Velvet & Velour? Which is the superior option? Update 06/2022

Velvet and velour have always seemed to me to be nearly identical textiles. Both have a plush pile and an air of richness about them. They turn out to be varied materials that offer a project a particular look. So, which should you go with? What is the difference between velvet and velour? Which is the superior option?
The fiber composition is the fundamental distinction between velvet and velour. Velvet is a natural, silk-based fabric that dates back to the Renaissance. It has a lustrous gleam about it. Velour was introduced in the mid-1800s as a synthetic, less expensive substitute. While it has a similar texture to velvet, it lacks the gloss.
Continue reading this post to learn more about the differences between velvet and velour. We’ll look at the qualities, benefits, and drawbacks of each to discover if velvet or velour is right for your next project.

Velvet vs Velour

Velvet vs Velour: Key Points

Velvet and velour have existed for centuries. Many individuals make the mistake of mistaking the names for a description of the fiber content, which is a natural mistake to make. No, they aren’t. Both phrases refer to the weave pattern used to make the materials.
Velour is a knit fabric with a somewhat duller finish than velvet, which is a woven fabric with a distinct sheen. The pile in each cloth determines the difference in surface shine. The term “pile” refers to the small tufts or loops of fiber that rise above the material’s base.
Each cloth has loops that make up its pile, but the small loops in velour are removed. This results in a longer, looser pile. It also decreases the fabric’s shine.
Velour and velvet have different fiber composition. Velvet was typically made of silk and was a favorite of the nobles and the wealthy. Velvet is now commonly constructed of linen, cotton, wool, and even polyester.
Velour, on the other hand, is almost entirely composed of cotton or a synthetic material like as polyester. It’s possible that it’s a combination of the two.
It might be difficult to distinguish between velvet and velour fabrics because the distinctions are so slight. It can be difficult to choose between the two materials because they are so similar. We’ll look at some crucial qualities in the table below to highlight those elusive elements that distinguish the two textiles.
PropertiesVelvetVelour
CostSilk based fabric can be expensive

Synthetic options are cheaper

Cheaper than velvet
Fiber contentTraditionally silk.

Modern velvet can be linen, mohair, wool, silk-rayon blend, and polyester

Cotton is a less common fiber

Can be made from cotton or synthetic fiber
or a mixture of both
Flame resistantDepends on fiber contentSynthetic versions have some resistance to flames
MaintenanceMany velvets are dry clean only

Check the care label

Cold machine wash
gentle spin
Small amount of detergent
Air dry
Do not iron
Do not blot
Excess moisture can be shaken off

Some velour is dry clean only

Check the care label

Wash in cold water on
gentle cycle
Shake off excess moisture
Air dry
Avoid too much detergent
Do not iron

StretchNot as stretchy as velourSlightly more stretchy than velvet
TextureSoft, shiny, and luxuriousSoft and luxurious but lacks the shine of velvet
Type of FabricWoven fabric with a distinctive looped pile and sheenA knit fabric with distinctive pile loops cut short to create a slightly duller finish
UsesDrapery, upholstery, clothing, protective covers for jewelryDrapery, upholstery, clothing, protective covers for jewelry
WeightSlightly heavier than velour depending on the weaveLighter than velvet

What Is Velvet?

What Is Velvet Fabric

Velvet is a short-pile, densely woven fabric with a smooth and lustrous texture. It was traditionally made of silk. Because silk is so expensive, the fibers were combined with rayon to provide a cheaper alternative. Modern velvet can be made from linen, wool, and synthetic fibers like polyester, in addition to the silk-rayon blend. Although cotton can be used to make velvet, it is less prevalent.
The cloth is woven on a unique loom that makes two layers of fabric, one on top of the other. It’s called a double cloth because it’s split into two parts, each with a flat underside and a short-pile surface. Velvet has a shine because to the weave. Depending on the type of velvet being made, dominant warp, or vertical threads, are woven into tabby, twill, or satin weaves.
Velvet was once a cloth reserved for royalty, nobles, and the affluent in the Middle East. As a result, it became associated with indulgence and luxury. The cloth was extremely expensive due to the principal fiber being silk, and it became a status symbol for those who could buy it.
The cloth expanded over the Mediterranean and Europe thanks to trade networks like the Silk Road from the Middle East. Florence, Italy, became the principal production hub during the Renaissance period. The material’s appeal rose, bringing it to the attention of a broader market of European nobles across the continent.
Velvet is now more commonly available in the general populace. Due to their ties to the manufacture of both silk and synthetic fibers, India and China are currently the primary producers of the cloth.
The emergence of synthetic velvets has significantly reduced the price, making it more accessible. The fabric is used for curtains, blankets, and other goods that require an extremely soft and fashionable feel, in addition to clothes.

Pros

  • Tightly woven
  • Upholstery and clothes are two examples of applications.
  • Adds a touch of class to a room’s décor and is available in a variety of weights and varieties to fit a variety of applications.

Cons

  • Traditional velvets made of silk are scarce and expensive.
  • The grandeur of antique velvets is lacking in synthetic velvets.
  • Wearing it can be uncomfortable, especially in hot weather.

What Is Velour?

What Is Velour fabric

Velour is a knitted fabric with a cut pile that comes in a variety of colors. It is made from a less number of fibers than velvet. Cotton would have been the primary fiber in the original design. Polycotton, a cotton and synthetic combination, is currently used to make modern velour. It can also be composed entirely of synthetic fibers, like as 100 percent polyester.
Velour and velvet are nearly comparable in terms of features and attributes, making it difficult to distinguish between the two. The fabric’s name hints at its near resemblance to its more expensive relative. Velour is a French word that means velvet.
The velour fabric is woven into looped threads in a similar fashion to velvet. These threads are then cut at the loops to make a nap, which is a cut pile of threads. This nap provides the fabric its distinct texture and distinguishes it from velvet. Although it has a small sheen, it isn’t as noticeable as velvet’s luster.
Velour, which was first used in the mid-nineteenth century, is said to have originated in the Middle East. It, like velvet, would have traveled to Europe through the legendary Silk Road. From the 2nd century through the 18th century, the Silk Road was a popular trade route for a variety of products, including fabrics.
Velour was at its peak in the 1840s. This was the decade in which the European market was introduced to a less expensive, new, and improved alternative to velvet. It became a popular cloth among the elite who wanted a less expensive alternative to velvet. They could now achieve the look of extravagance and grandeur at a lower cost.
The importance of lavish attire as a status signal faded throughout time. Velour was relegated to the role of upholstery fabric. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that it was reintroduced as a fashionable garment material.
It became a symbol of defiance against the conventional social limitations of well-tailored suits and elegant attire during those decades. Velour was soft, comfy, and instrumental in releasing a generation of young people from their parents’ perceived stuffiness, thanks to its vivid, bold colors.
The material became the go-to fabric for sportswear businesses like Adidas after gaining acceptance thanks to popular music bands of the time. They made tracksuits and sports clothes out of it because of the fabric’s soft, pleasant characteristics combined with the lightness of polyester and cotton.
Velour is still utilized in tracksuits nowadays. Lounge suits, dressing gowns, slippers, and blankets are all made with it. Velour is ideal for projects that require a bit of softness.
The addition of polyester to velour fibers has resulted in a fabric that is easier to maintain. As a result, the material has become more inexpensive. Velour is now more extensively utilized than velvet as a result of this.

Pros

  • Knitted fabric giving it extra natural stretch
  • Warm, comfortable, and very soft
  • Luxurious yet affordable
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Not easy to work with
  • Can snag or pill
  • Raw fabric edges are prone to fraying
  • Wears out easily

What Is the Difference Between Velour and Velvet?

Velour vs velvet

We’ve now examined the similarities between velour and velvet. It’s simple to understand how these two materials could be mistaken for one another. At this time, it appears that the only meaningful distinction is the type of fiber utilized and the price.
Let’s compare and contrast a few traits. By contrasting the two materials, we should be able to see if there are any other notable differences between them.

Texture

velvet or velour

Velvet and velour have nearly identical textures due to the unique manner they are made. Both fabrics are silky and have a one-way nap formed by little fiber loops.
This fabric has a one-way nap that runs from the top to the bottom. You may see a color change in the fabric if you move your hand upwards from the bottom to the top. It darkens or grows duller. It is critical to understand this. If you’re working with velvet or velour, make sure you cut the cloth so that the nap runs from top to bottom. The difference in direction will otherwise stand out like a sore thumb.
Velvet has a lustrous sheen because to the little loops generated by the strands. These loops are carved in velour to reduce the amount of shine. Velour lacks the gloss of velvet because of this.

Breathability

This is one of the qualities that is influenced by the fabric’s fiber makeup. Velour is usually synthetic if we look at it first. The majority of synthetic materials do not allow air to pass through them. Cotton velour has the qualities of cotton fabric and hence has some breathability.
The breathability of velvet is determined by whether it is made of linen or not. Velvet is light and airy thanks to linen, a popular summer fabric. This velvet will be breathable due to the linen fiber it includes.
Velvet and velour are not textiles that are recommended for wearing in hot weather or in harsher climes. Typically, they are connected with keeping you warm.

Stretchability

Although there is a fabric called stretch velvet, it is not typically thought of as a stretchy fabric. To offer it more flexibility, the stretch version features a higher percentage of elastane or spandex. Stretch velvet, which is used for close-fitting clothes, has a stretch factor of roughly 50%, allowing for plenty of flexibility.
Overall, velvet is more typically utilized for drapey projects rather than form-fitting ones. It’s better recognized as a structured fabric for upholstery and drapes because of the sumptuous and lush feel it can give a room.
Velour, on the other hand, has a greater range of motion than velvet. Velour’s natural flexibility comes from the fact that it’s a knit fabric. Synthetic fibers are also more likely to be used. Both of these characteristics make velour an excellent choice for your stretchy project.

Softness

velour material

Velour and velvet are both naturally soft fabrics. The little loops generated in the fabric, whether woven or knitted, give both materials a wonderfully velvety feel. It’s nearly impossible to tell which is the softest of the two.
The thickness of the weave or knit can change the softness. Because upholstery fabrics must be more durable than apparel fabrics, they are less likely to be soft to the touch. It doesn’t matter if it’s velour or velvet. They are evenly matched in this regard.

Maintenance

When it comes to velour versus velvet care, there isn’t much of a difference between the two. Both are relatively simple to maintain. Neither fabric, however, like being handled roughly.
Because velour and velvet have a pile or napped surface, they can be damaged by an overly aggressive spin cycle. While crushed velvet can be utilized to add intrigue to a garment, you don’t normally buy it that way. You don’t want your pricey gown to look crushed when it comes out of the dryer. It’ll be ruined.
The secret to working with velvet and velour is to use a gentle touch. To get rid of excess moisture, don’t rub, blot, or compress either material. Simply brush off the excess water and let it air dry. Similarly, don’t use too much detergent because it will convert your soft, luxurious cloth into an unpleasant flat surface with a brick-like texture.

Flame Retardant Qualities

One of the benefits of velour is that its synthetic composition can provide some fire resistance. The type of artificial fiber in the fabric determines this. The material must be treated in order to be entirely fireproof. However, because of the fire retardant properties, it may be a safer solution for natural fiber velvet.
Polyester is one of the several fibers used to make velvet. It’s also possible to make it out of linen, wool, or silk. Wool and silk are tough to burn, but linen is one of the simplest materials to ignite.
When it comes to velvet’s fire-retardant properties, the fiber content makes a big difference. Make sure the fabric has been properly treated to ensure fire resistance to be safe and assured that your upholstery and draperies are fire-resistant.

Cost

Velvet has always been the more expensive of the two textiles. It was woven with silk fibers in the beginning, giving it a rich elegance that only a few could afford. Velvet was a luxurious fabric that was only worn by royalty and nobles. It exuded luxury.
Velour was seen as a less expensive option. Cotton’s low cost allowed it to quickly overtake velvet as the most luxurious fabric. Not just for the nobility, but for the entire populace.
Velour and velvet are now closer in price than they have ever been in history, thanks to the introduction of polyester into both textiles. Velvet is slightly more expensive due of its name and associations with grandeur. But not by nearly as much as it was when it was at its peak.

Usage

difference between velour and velvet

Velvet and velour have a lot in common. Upholstery and curtain fabrics are sometimes referred to as the same thing. It’s not always easy to tell which one you have. The difference between the two is small because they are both equally good and produce the same effects. Their superiority as a decorative material is a strength they both possess.
The attire is a little different. The structures of velour and velvet are slightly different because velour is a knit fabric and velvet is woven. It’s similar to the distinction between a tee and a tailored shirt.
Due to its inherent flexibility, Velour is the more comfortable of the two. It might also be a cloth that is a little lighter. As a result, you’re less likely to come across velvet clothing. Velvet has a lot of weight to it.
Velvet’s long pile makes it a suitable fabric for jewelry and gemstone protection covers and wraps. Its construction and stability make it a long-lasting alternative for storing your valuables. Velour, on the other hand, has a tendency to snag on jewelry, producing pilling.

What Is Velveteen? Is It Velvet or Velour?

Velveteen is a fabric that falls between between velvet and velour. It has a shorter pile and is slightly heavier than velvet. It’s an imitation velvet made of cotton and sometimes a cotton and silk blend, but it’s not as excellent as velour.
It doesn’t have the same drape as velvet and isn’t as flexible as velour. It has a harsher, stiffer feel since it has a short pile. The overall look resembles corduroy rather than velvet or velour.

Infanzia Velvet Sofa Cover

Velvet Sofa Cover

The Infanzia sofa cover is made of 100% Grade A velvet and is both stylish and sumptuous. The fabric is ultra-soft and elastic, making it appropriate for a variety of sofa sizes.
The cover is easy to fit and will stay in place thanks to a non-slip foam rod and elastic band. As a result, you won’t have to constantly tweak the cover to keep it straight. Even better, it will guard your sofa against spills, tears, and scuffs.
Because the cover is made of 85% polyester, it’s machine washable and quick to dry. In no time, filthy covers may be removed and washed. These covers will last a long time if you follow the washing directions, don’t iron, and don’t use bleach.

Velour Tracksuit

Velour Tracksuit

This velour tracksuit is constructed of a 60/40 cotton/polyester blend that is both comfortable and elegant. The velour knit makes this a versatile piece that’s perfect for a trip to the gym or everyday wear.
This easy-care piece can be machine washed and ironed on a cool temperature if necessary. You may also dry it on a low setting in the machine. Because it’s made of polyester, it’s a wash-and-wear option for your active lifestyle.
This shirt and pants pair is versatile and comfortable to wear thanks to the drawstring waistband, half-kangaroo pockets, and rib-knit cuffs and hem. This tracksuit is available in a variety of colors to match your taste and budget.

Velour vs Velvet: Which Is Better?

Velvet and velour are both soft and luscious textiles. Velvet is shinier than velour, although both are appropriate for the same applications. The finished item will have a distinct texture due to the varying levels of shine.
Between the two, there isn’t much to select from. Neither one is superior than the other. The one you choose is determined by your personal taste and the appearance you want to accomplish. It also depends on your financial situation. Velvet has a higher price tag than velour. You might find that the cheapest choice is the only way to keep your project inside budget.
If you like the article, please let me know in the comments. Have you ever worked with velvet or velour? Which one is your favorite?F

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