The headline fabric this winter is velvet. “And I’m so pleased it’s back,” says Natalia Miyar, London-based interior designer. “It’s luxurious, incredibly inviting and responds to your touch.”
Lush, rich velvet fell out of favour in the mid-Nineties, as minimalism replaced bohemian romance. Textiles specialists such as Dedar of Italy continued to produce it, and in recent years the material has found favour again in projects for the five-star Four Seasons hotel in Kyoto, and Bulgari boutiques. It has been Dedar’s number one seller for the past five years.
Cox London’s Christopher Cox has used a matt green velvet on his new bronze dining chairs, because “it holds its own in an Art Deco apartment or an Elizabethan country house”.
But why is velvet making a comeback now? Light and texture are current design watchwords, says Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin interiors, who cites wider Art Deco and Fifties design influences as part of the fabric’s renewed appeal.
“Velvet looks different when light hits the yarn from a different source. So you get subtle variations of tone — it doesn’t look like one big block of colour.”
Waller says the new velvets differ from their Eighties and Nineties counterparts thanks to “brighter colours, a move away from the traditional shades of the past, and it is great to print on”. He offers Navaho and ikat prints on velvet cushions, as a humorous take on East meets West.
Elsewhere Anna Burns Studio has produced digital representations of precious stones on velvet’s surface. And Sé has a significant offering of velvet on products from interior designers such as Nika Zupanc this season. Included is a bi-coloured textured velvet that widens the appeal of the fabric.