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What does Velvet mean?

Originally made of silk, it is commonly found today to be composed of rayon, nylon, and acrylic cut pile fabrics.

Heddels explains Velvet 

An ancient fabric, velvet has been produced for almost 4,000 years and is often associated with royalty and nobility. It is a woven fabric with a short, dense pile and lush feel. Velvet is considered luxurious because it requires more time and thread to create than most other fabrics.

Traditionally it is made of silk thread; however, today it is frequently made of cotton or synthetic fibers. Velvet must be manufactured on a special loom that weaves two pieces of cloth that are then cut apart to produce the pile. It requires special care to maintain as it is easily damaged by folding or crushing the pile, and should be dry cleaned only.

Additional Resources

Snapshot of velvet:

Raw Denim Term - Velvet

Source: cloth4less.net