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Velvet, made from either synthetic or natural fibres, but traditionally silk, is a woven, tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed, with a short, dense pile.  This gives it its distinctive feel. Woven on a special loom weaving two thicknesses of velvet at the same time, the two pieces are then cut apart to create the pile effect. Velvet was once expensive to make, before industrial power looms became available, and was therefore only worn by nobility in the early 1400's. More recently, synthetic, less costly  velvets have been developed, made mostly from polyester, nylon, viscose and acetate, with a small percentage of spandex sometimes added for extra stretch. 

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