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Vel­vet Tra­di­tional Yet In­flu­en­tial in Fash­ion

Vel­vet, com­monly known as a win­ter fab­ric, has al­ways been a clas­sic sta­ple in the fash­ion world, as it has al­ways re­mained a hot favourite amongst lead­ing in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers. Even though vel­vet has not al­ways taken over the fash­ion world, it has al­ways come back in power from time to time as it adds a fresh tex­ture and hint of lux­ury to the col­lec­tions of de­sign­ers.

From Mi­lan Fash­ion Week to Lakme In­dia Fash­ion Week, de­sign­ers have fore­cast vel­vet to be one of the trend­ing fab­rics for all de­signs. It is un­doubt­edly one of the most lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als avail­able in the mar­ket, and this year, it cre­ated quite an im­pact at the Mi­lan and Lon­don run­ways, adding a touch of flu­id­ity to al­ready fem­i­nine sil­hou­ettes.

Bold coloured vel­vet was seen at the fall editions of New York Fash­ion Week in prod­ucts like suits, dresses, blaz­ers. In­ter­est­ingly, vel­vet out­fits have

evolved be­yond con­ven­tional skirts and leg­gings and to­day vel­vet can be seen in jump­suits, dresses, evening gowns, midis, crop tops and even gor­geous blaz­ers. Vel­vet gowns worn with T-shirts and plush skirts are the lat­est ad­di­tions.

An in­creas­ing num­ber of in­ter­na­tional celebri­ties are also seen adorn­ing vel­vet fab­rics. Vel­vet to­day is avail­able in a myr­iad of bold and bright colours, which in­cludes deep red, royal blue, para­keet green and burnt or­ange.

‘Crushed vel­vet’ has been pop­u­lar ever since its re­vival in 90s. Soft, drap­ery vel­vets in el­e­gant pas­tel colours are trend­ing, and stiff, struc­tured fab­rics in strong colours such as bot­tle green or navy have ruled the run­way this year.

Vel­vet par­tic­u­larly gained de­mand in early the 90s, when mo­tion pic­tures, the de­ter­miner of fash­ion and trend, started us­ing this fab­ric for most of the clothes worn by celebri­ties. To­day vel­vet, in rep­u­ta­tion, is as good as cot­ton or any other every­day wear­able fab­ric.

In In­dia also, de­sign­ers have been ex­per­i­ment­ing with this fab­ric for a long time now in prod­ucts like a sa­ree, blouse, lehenga, sher­wani or sim­ply used as a bor­der.

“The vel­vet mar­ket has grown by leaps and bounds in In­dia. To­day, the In­dian vel­vet in­dus­try gives tough com­pe­ti­tion to China. Our cot­ton is one of the best in world and this gives our cot­ton vel­vet an edge above oth­ers” said ravi verma, Di­rec­tor taj vel­vet and Silk Mills from Agra while ex­plain­ing the vel­vet mar­ket in In­dia. He also men­tioned that vel­vet is about creativ­ity and qual­ity. “We blend both to main­tain a sta­ble po­si­tion in the fash­ion in­dus­try and are al­ways will­ing to ex­per­i­ment with new styles, weaves and fin­ishes,” he added. He in­formed that his com­pany has been us­ing the best in tech­nol­ogy from com­pa­nies like Van De Wiele, Bel­gium for pro­duc­ing vel­vet.

On the other hand, a few peo­ple have dif­fer­ing opin­ions about vel­vet. “New gov­ern­ment poli­cies have af­fected the busi­ness a lot, de­mon­eti­sa­tion had al­ready caused a huge loss and GST has sim­ply added to those wounds. 12% GST rate solely on vel­vet whereas GST on other fab­rics is only 5%, has closed doors for ex­port for many like us” said one of the of­fi­cials from Kedar­nath Vel­vet. He also said that even though Vel­vet is trend­ing world­wide, ex­ports are suf­fer­ing due to tax­a­tion schemes in In­dia. Also, China is hugely com­pet­i­tive.

“The in­creas­ing sam­ple de­mand for mi­cro, vis­cose and cot­ton vel­vet is giv­ing a hint that by Oc­to­ber 2017, vel­vet will be in great de­mand. Right now 2-3 me­tres of sam­ple de­mand trans­forms into huge con­sign­ments as de­sign­ers are us­ing this fab­ric on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” said Bablu, a sales­per­son at Sahni Fabs, one of the show­rooms in Nehru Place.

“Knit­ted vel­vet is in de­mand and I be­lieve de­mand would in­crease in the fu­ture,” said Kuldip Mul­gai, Deepak Fi­bre LTD.

Fash­ion de­signer Tarun Tahil­iani says no fab­ric can re­place vel­vet be­cause of its royal look. But ow­ing to its cost and thick­ness, raw silk, du­pion silk and light­weight suedes took its place. How­ever, it has made a come­back be­cause of the var­ied ways it is used. “Vel­vet dis­ap­peared from the run­way be­cause of its thick­ness. How­ever, its sheen and tex­ture are ir­re­place­able,” he says. “Tech­niques like vel­vet ap­plique, us­ing vel­vet se­quin or cutouts in em­bel­lish­ments, vel­vet tapes and braids, printed vel­vet yokes and bor­ders are some of the twists that vel­vet has seen this year along with quilt­ing the vel­vets.”

Ravi Verma, Di­rec­tor, Taj vel­vet and Silk Mills

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