There are some fabrics in the world that directly connote luxury and surely velvet is that one fabric.
From as long as textiles have existed, their usage has also been driven by class, geographical condition and the existence of the material in that context. To say that velvet is known to be Indian would be wrong but the fact that its use has been known for long enough to now call it an indigenous choice would be very right.
Velvet is a soft tufted fabric that is often created from tufts of silk, and very rarely of cotton, in fact, today most of the cheaper versions are created from rayon while in the past it used to be made of pure silk and thus considered to be the fabric for the royalty. Velvet in conjunction with fine gold and silver wired embroidery usually made up the clothes of the royalty.
To say that velvet is a new fondness would be completely wrong. Right from the times of the Mughals, when the best of velvets traveled to India from Cairo, till date, the love for this fabric has been evident from the courts of the royalty to bags and pouches, blouses and belts, from shawls to all kinds of other accessories, that are still styled with it. It is however recently that more opulent dressing for weddings has seen a surge in the usage of velvet.
Velvet being a heavy fabric carries off any kind of heavy embroidery.
It exudes a certain kind of elegance that one can seldom find with other fabrics.
There is a certain kind of built in sophistication, a quiet but profound look of opulence even without too much done on the fabric.
There is this appeal of the past-a look of a bygone era that is evoked with velvet and above all, surprising for a fabric that cannot be called light, it does seem to suit people of all shapes and height. And thus wedding wear, be it sarees or chaniya choli or even gowns, the demand for velvet is crossing all previous records.
The first thing to remember is that velvet being a rich look fabric when taken in a drape is best worn when there is a lighter fabric with which it is combined. Here one can see the red velvet in a deep maroon contained in the typical half and half style with red net fabric.
Here is another red velvet half and half saree that has this time been paired with a pale colored net saree. The advantage being that the saree can be worn not just in winters but also in early spring and later autumn when it is not quite warm and thus bearable to drape velvets.
The saree below is a rich red velvet half and half saree creation that uses lace lavishly to justify the other half .But the trim on the velvet thus manages to make the appearance less heavy. This is great trick to make the velvet seem lighter and more wearable for those who are inhibited by its thickness.
Look at this creation that uses a bright red color and teamed with that is a blouse in a more gossamer fabric and heavily embroidered with zardozi makes the heavy saree look less so.
You can see the saree below has an amazingly pretty red blouse in crepe while the red velvet saree with one half n net shows of the white pearl and resham embroidered border as much as this velvet portion. Not the close to neck necklace and the traditional jhumkas that add a more vivacity and Indianess to the look.
This gorgeous velvet is combined with white net and the frill at the border that gives the appearance of the velvet a feel lighter. This look of velvet with lace is one of the most popular combinations. Ones that have lace, net or georgette-the heaviness of the velvet gets countered while at the same time it dense colour and the thickness too gets some profile. Note also that the jewelry worn by most is light-with perhaps one chunky statement piece that looks regal.
In the saree below the black of the blouse with its extraordinarily beautiful embroidery makes the velvet seem less heavy as the focus gets divided.
The saree in itself is not that heavily embroidered which is a trap one must escape while buying red velvet sarees. The plainer the velvet the more the chances that the look will not make you seem too bulky.
This is the final red velvet that should steal your breath right away-superior silk velvet with pure antique zardozi border and the inner half in a creamy brown Benarasi georgette that helps tone down the red colour of the velvet portion of the saree..
Note in the saree above the absence of any earrings and neck piece. A saree this heavy must not be burdened with any more add ons.
Here is a saree in velvet that has taken on a work in silver-what one needs to remember while buying red velvet with work that the choice of zari work has to be exquisite. When thicker embroidery resides on velvet the look is way too chunky and unwearable.