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What is this fabric?

SewinMari | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’m new and have probably posted this wrong….sorry….but….Can anyone identify what this velvet is?  It’s green and brown, but what is it called and where do you think I could find it?  Is it “ombre” ?





  1. SAAM | | #1

    It looks like a stretch velour.

  2. littlejs | | #2

    I agree, it is probably stretch velour.  Notice how thin it is and how it drapes.  They may have used a neutral stretch lining or cut something on a bias to give body to the empire waist.   It certainly looks lovely on the model.  Kate 

  3. FitnessNut | | #3

    Stretch velvet.

    1. dotty | | #4

      Is it ombre stretch knit?

      1. SewinMari | | #5

        Is that what "ombre" is ?  a two tone solid?  I think  an ombre in the silk organza is made with two different colors of fibers with each color going weft and lengthwise. ... Do you think that word "ombre" applies to velvet?  Isn't that a lovely fabric?

        Thanks you for your thoughts!


        1. Ralphetta | | #6

          I believe ombre' refers to the gradual change from one color into another, as when a piece of fabric is bone colored and then a few inches later it slowly fades into tan, and then to brown and then to a deep chocolate. It has an almost watercolored effect.  I would not consider the fabric in the photo ombre since it is all the same, sort of an irredescent green created by a blend of colors.  Every inch of it is the same.

  4. HeartFire2 | | #7

    I would hazzard a guess that its either rayon or silk strech velvet, I can't tell if its irregularly dyed (notice the upper right shoulder is kind of splotchy) or if its a 2 tone and the light shinning on it gives the effect

  5. Teaf5 | | #8

    I think it's woven velvet or velveteen, as there is so much ruching (small gathers at neck and seamline) that a knit wouldn't need. the top of the bodice seems to be cut on the bias, and the base of it is cut on the straight grain, possibly with stretch sequin trim between the sections (or a knit/stretch back).

    The color isn't ombre, which is the subtle shading from light to dark, but more what is called iridescent, with one shade for the base fibers and another for the pile fibers. On the bias, more of the base fibers will show; on the straight grain, the velvet pile fibers do.

    Beautiful top!

    1. SewinMari | | #9

      The top is very fitted and even if it were a knit, I'd think I'd ruche it just to get the lovely effect of the ruching.  Knit doesn't need it, but it is so-o-o pretty.  Now, I need to find it.

      I think you are right -- that it is irridescent.  I guess I will send picture to as many on-line fabric stores as I can find to get it or something similar.  Anybody got ideas on that? 

      Just FYI, the sequins (to match nearly anything) can be gotten from http://www.ccartwright.com  , an unbelievably rich resource of odd sequins.  Beads too.  Most people who sew may not get into the hand word for sequins.

      1. mygaley | | #10

        I went to this site to see the wonderful sequins, etc., and was reminded of a Threads back cover of a vintage dress where the sequins were printed in leopard, or maybe tortoiseshell--so delicious! Galey

      2. user-51823 | | #11

        what a fun sparkle site!
        i have a dress from Banana Republict that looks like a very similar fabric-- fine and stretchy with lots of bouncy body. i would have referred to it as velour, because i tend to think of velour as knit (stretchy) "velvet". but according to fabrics.net, "velour" has velvet-like nap, but is of cotton and a heavier weight, used mainly for upholstery.anyway, my dress' fiber content says 76% polyesther / 16% nylon / 8% spandex. it is not irredescent.

        Edited 10/20/2006 10:52 am ET by msm-s

        1. SewinMari | | #12

          Can you add "iridescence" to a velvet through a paint or dyeing process?

          1. User avater
            sunshinegal | | #13

            I am new to this forum but would like to add a comment.  I do hand fabric dyeing.  Silk velvet dyes wonderfully.  Ombre is possible with dyeing but iridescence is woven at the time of manufacture.  One color runs lengthwise and a second color runs widthwise.

          2. SewinMari | | #14

            I KNEW you were going to say that.  I know you are correct.  But I am in a state of denial and also am needing find this stupid fabric.....There are some iridescent paints.  I know paint is not going to help me.  soo sad....

            Thank you,


          3. User avater
            sunshinegal | | #15

            Buy some silk velvet from http://www.dharmatrading.com  It only comes in white but you can buy your procion brand dyes there also.  You might try Michael Levin in Los Angeles.  They may have the fabric you are looking for.  Good luck  Judy M.

            [email protected]


          4. SewinMari | | #18

            Do you have a phone # or website for Michael Levin?  Not finding through google.

          5. User avater
            sunshinegal | | #19

            Michael Levin is in the garment district of LA.  I will look in my sewing room tomorrow for the number.  I think i have it on a yardstick.  They have some really great fabrics.

          6. User avater
            sunshinegal | | #20

            What you want is.........

            Michael Levine, Inc.

            920 So. Maple Ave.

            Los Angeles, CA 90015

            (213) 622-6259

            I don't find a website just for him.  Saw a couple related sites.  JM

          7. ctirish | | #23

            I would send the picture to Banksville Designer Fabrics, someone there can tell you what it is and if they have it.  Good luck, jane




            Edited 10/25/2006 4:18 pm ET by ctirish

          8. julieday | | #24

            hi mari i wasnt sure if at first my message posted but i see it has...???? can ya tell me where you found the photo ? the only reason i ask is because i do alot of internet research and may be able to find out some specifics and find where you can buy that same material, not something similar but that exact material. i can understand if you'd prefer not to say no worries-good luck!

          9. almost | | #25

            This is a stretch velvet which was woven with and irredescent weave.....the velevet ws made from rayon. 

            I found similar luscious fabric at Micheal Levine's in LA years ago and made my daughter an increadible skating costume from it.  The fabric was so soft that it moved almost like liquid when she performed and the color was constantly changing.  It was so gorgeous!  Hope that you can find something similar.  And I agree that Micheal Levine's should have it, but if no, spend some time looking around the fabric mart in LA and I would guess you will find what you are looking for.



          10. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #26

            I have several pieces of similar stretch velvet or velour.  They're all polyester but what gives the fabric the unique irridescent shading is the way the fabric is made.  The backing of the velvet is one colour and the little fibres that make the pile are another colour.  In my own collection I have pieces with: pink back/blue pile, dark plum back/brilliant blue pile, gold back/navy pile, brugundy back/navy pile, navy back/burgundy pile, and mauve back/white pile.  The facric could be made of silk or other fibres, but mine is all polyester and has an incredible deep rich look to it.  I purchased it at either costume fabric places, an independent fabric store, or the local Fabricland (Canada).  I like to make clothing with ruching or gathers out of it because it enhances the irridescent effect.  Anything I have ever made from this fabric gets numerous compliments and people, even men, want to touch it.  

            Hope that info helps you find what you're looking for. 

          11. user-51823 | | #17

            irredescent paints are kind of a different issue, and usually acheive effect with pearl and metallics.
            i once considered trying to paint a contrasting dye onto the wrong side of some velvet to get the 2-tone effect, but it probably would just bleed up into the nap through capillary action. that's why it has to be woven as 2-tone.

  6. julieday | | #16

    where did you get this photo?
    please include a link if you still have it. or if you scanned it from a mag clipping which magazine was it(incl. issue #)the more specific you are the better;)

  7. NewRenaissanceWoman | | #21

    It is a lightweight velvet that may or may not be 'stretch'

    It appears as though the brown shade may have been sprayed up the center of the fabric after the dress was assembled, since there are too many different planes that do not change color to be the result of an irridescent weave.

    This effect would be easiest to recreate in silk velvet with procion (fiber reactive) dye or with rayon velvet with a basic (for rayon) dye.

    1. user-51823 | | #22

      i don't think it's sprayed on in the photo. the rust color goes on up as though reacting to a strong central light source used in the photo shoot.
      but it would be fun to try your suggestion!

      Edited 10/25/2006 9:40 am ET by msm-s

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