Welcome to another edition of Textile Trivia, where we uncover the lesser-known facts in the world of soft surfaces. This article will unravel the truths behind luxury fabrics. Get ready to test your knowledge and perhaps learn a thing or two about these sumptuous fabrics and textiles!
The story of fibers and fabrics is an ongoing one, and one that spans back thousands of years. Synthetic fibers have only been around for about a century. Natural cellulosic fibers, derived from plants, have been around as long as the pyramids.
Do you know which of the natural fibers was first to be utilized in upholstery?
Reports indicate that ancient Egyptians, around 3000 BCE, were the first upholsterers, covering their wooden furniture with linen fabric. Other reports argue that upholstery was first utilized in ancient Rome during the early Middle Ages. What is not heavily debated is that the very first upholstery fabrics were derived from the stem of the flax plant, which is where linen fabric comes from.
Cashmere Luxury Fabrics
Often described as the “diamond fiber” of textiles, cashmere is known for its unparalleled soft feel and warmth. It is also not a secret that it is among the most expensive fabrics, whether it is a fur coat or an area rug.
Aside from the high demand created by its soft feel, lustrous appearance, and inherent resiliency, why is cashmere so expensive?
The high prices associated with cashmere are due to its rarity, accounting for just 0.5% of the world’s wool production. While a sheep can produce over 6 ½ pounds of wool per year, the average cashmere goat produces just 3 to 4 ounces of cashmere wool annually; it can take up to 35 ounces to make one cashmere fur coat! That means the number of cashmere goats’ wool needed for just one rug or upholstery fabric can reach the hundreds!
What characteristic of fibers, typically viewed as desirable and seen in many luxury fabrics, can become a maintenance problem— especially in pile fabrics and floor coverings?
Luster is the term that describes a fiber’s ability to reflect light. Light reflected to the viewer gives the surface a shiny or glossy appearance. While this can add a wonderful element to a room, luster is vulnerable with any change in the orientation of fibers or yarns. Flattening of a lustrous pile can be caused by several factors, the most common being moisture and general traffic. The photo seen here is a silk velvet with a glaring light spot in the middle caused by a small amount of water and light blotting. Both rayon fabric and silk fabric are particularly prone to this type of issue.
Knot Your Average Rug
Persian rugs are known not only for their intricate designs and versatile use. When hand-knotted by professionals, they are also some of the most durable and cleanable rug types available.
Do you know how many knots per square inch are tied by skilled weavers in the Persian rug construction process?
Highly skilled weavers are able to tie over 1,000 knots per square inch in many Persian rugs! As they have become far more widespread in recent history, there are cheaper alternatives available that cut costs during the construction process; these options are far less durable and cleanable.
Protection For Luxury Fabrics
With owning luxury fabrics comes the fear of ruining them. When you have luxury fabrics, you want them to stay looking elegant and new for as long as possible. With Fiber-Seal’s fabric sealant products and luxury fabric protection services, we have the best methods for keeping your gorgeous furnishings looking their best.