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A precious festive fabric

Christmas holidays are approaching and the exclusive trend this year to show off during lunch and dinner seems to be the one and only velvet.

A fine fabric, symbol of opulence and sophistication, appreciated for centuries by designers and artists alike for its soft glow and beauty in bright and warm tones. The name – derived from the Latin word vellus – means fleece or cape, and describes the typical fur finish, in variable length and type. Its main feature is trimmed and very thick fur for crushed velvet, or a number of small loops of thread protruding from the frame for cisele velvet.

The raw material for velvet was once silk, which made it shiny and soft to the touch, and precious and delicate on the eyes. The use of cotton, linen, wool and mohair were introduced later, making it more resistant. Recently, synthetic velvet was developed – particularly in polyester, acetate, nylon and viscose.

In spite of its many varieties, velvet will always exude a feeling of great softness which has inspired this year’s most exclusive collections, from Emilio Pucci, Lanvin and Alberta Ferretti up to Brioni, who couldn’t resist the timeless charm of this fascinating fabric, bringing to light clothing and accessories for both men and women, and making this sumptuous and soft fabric the go-to-trend for the 2016 Christmas holidays.

Coming in all sorts of shades, from black to peacock blue, velvet has become ubiquitous this season. Hats, prim tops, structured coats and midi skirts, trousers, belts, bags and shoes with golden decorations: a sophisticated velvet mix will spread a feeling of warmth at lunches, parties and under the family tree.