A wonderful fabric:
itâ€™s opulent; itâ€™s colourful.
Can you guess what it is?
For many years, velvet, especially red velvet with a white trim, has epitomised Christmas for me. I love the lush feel of the plush so imagine how excited I was when I recently discovered some fascinating links between velvet, Egypt and the UK which I hope you will find equally interesting.
To start, remnants of a velvet like fabric have been found in Pharaonic tombs and it seems that an early version of velvet was made in Egypt as long ago as 2,000 years BC â€“ Wow!
The link between velvet and Egypt was further strengthened during the Mamluk era (1250-1517) when Cairo was the leading producer of velvet in the world! It was from there that velvet made its way, via the trade routes, to Venice and from there to the rest of Europe.
Woven from silk and expensive to produce it was a fabric for royalty and the very wealthy. They admired its soft, deep pile. In 1278 King Edward 1â€™s tailor brought a velvet bed from Paris to England and this is the earliest record of velvet in the UK. It is amazing to think that the first velvet to reach these shores was most probably made in Cairo!
Nowadays, velvet is woven from cotton, linen and man-made fibres as well as silk and is much more affordable. Lycra can also be added to the mix to make a stretch velvet. It's a genuinely luxurious, sensual fabric with a rich history which everyone should indulge in wearing and feel delicious!
Zaraâ€™s Zouk is happy to offer a variety of very velvety items to give a gorgeous touch of luxury and sophistication to your dance wardrobe. We hope you enjoy taking a look: