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Velvet is and was a very expensive fabric consisting of short threads of silk protruding from the face of the fabric giving it a distinctive feel and look. Originally made of silk woven into two sheets at once with the weft running back and forth between the two pieces. It was then cut to produce two pieces of velvet.

A less costly modern alternative to silk velvet is cotton velvet. Panne velvet has a longer pile and is pressed giving it an appearance quite dissimilar to actual velvet.