Velvet is a rich, varied and versatile type of cloth that can be used in many different and at times surprising ways. Velvet is used for garments, covering the body literally from head to foot, and worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery.

The new Textile Research Centre (TRC) exhibition Velvet! opens today and includes examples of velvet dating from the late fifteenth century to the present day. There will be over one-hundred garments and textiles on display, ranging from samples of cotton, linen, mohair, silk and wool velvet (some of which visitors can touch), velveteens, kuba velvets, to children’s velvet garments, wedding dresses, not to mention a wide range of velvet hats. It will be a real feast for the senses.

The luxurious character of velvet is made clear by a length of so-called Utrecht velvet (made from mohair), and also by an example of a pressed velvet that is used in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague, for a wall hanging. There is even a sample of the velvet used to decorate the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain.

Until 27th June 2019.

Textile Research Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.

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