Velvet material can be made from several different types of fibers, both natural and synthetic. The term "velvet" refers to the texture of the material and comes from the French "velu," meaning "shaggy."
Velvet is a pile fabric, meaning that it has a smooth back and a front covered with a dense blanket of soft, short fibers. Fabric manufacturers create velvet by making loops in the threads as the fabric is woven, then cutting the loops into short strands.
Velvet traditionally has a cotton or linen back and a silk pile. However, it can be made from a variety of other fibers, including rayon and acetate, two synthetic silk-like materials.
You must store velvet carefully, as folding velvet can flatten the pile. The best cleaning method may depend on the type of velvet you're working with, so check tags to find out what materials the velvet is made of or talk to a professional cleaner.
Mara Shannon is a writer whose work appears on various websites. Shannon also blogs about gaming and literature. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Arts in music with a focus on performance.