Velvet is soft and silky and moves so beautifully. You can find velvet everywhere, from shoes and clothes to theater and bus seats and sofas. As a vegan, you may wonder if velvet is vegan-friendly. While velvet is an important part of any fashionista’s wardrobe, is it vegan? This is a tricky question with no simple yes or no answer. Are there hidden animal ingredients in velvet?
There is a wide variety of velvet available on the market, and it is easy to get mixed up in the vegan and non-vegan varieties. So what should a vegan do? Skipping velvet altogether may eliminate many outfits from your wardrobe, which can become rather stressful.
The good news is that vegan velvet exists and is easy to identify. You just need to know how to do that.
Read on to find out all you need to know about velvet and how to choose velvet that makes you look fabulous and doesn’t go against your vegan-friendly spirit.
What is Velvet?
Velvet comes in many shapes, sizes, and styles. However, the two main kinds you may be thinking about could be for fashion or home.
Velvet for fashion and clothing has not been vegan historically. The technique for making velvet dates back to 1000 AC in the Northern African region. Velvet is made by combining silk fibers that have been woven in two layers; then, the threads are cut and evenly distributed. This is how real velvet is made.
The velvet you may find in most high street stores is not this kind. Instead, it is often made of synthetic materials or cotton. However, if you come across expensive clothing with velvet priced over 100 pounds, it may contain silk.
What is Traditional Velvet Made From?
Traditional velvet was made with silk from silkworms, which was expensive and made using a complex method. Unfortunately, velvet made with this process is not vegan-friendly. According to research, 3000 silkworms die for every pound of silk produced.
What is Contemporary Velvet Made From?
Most contemporary velvet manufactured in the world now is vegan-friendly. This may not have happened due to people’s desire to save silkworms but because of the financial aspect. When it comes down to money, people are likely to discover new techniques for making cheaper materials that will yield greater profits.
Making velvet with synthetic materials and other fabrics costs much less. The velvet you buy now is most likely made from nylon, polyester, or rayon fibers, all man-made fibers.
Can Vegans Wear Velvet?
The answer to this question is a definite yes! As a vegan, you can wear velvet. However, make sure that you check the fabric used to make the particular velvet you are considering.
As discussed earlier, velvet was not vegan historically as it was made from silk. However, the velvet you find these days is almost always from synthetic materials, and there is no involvement of any animals. In addition to being cruelty-free, modern velvet is also much cheaper and very durable.
So you can now go out and choose your vegan velvet and flaunt it at the next grand event.
How to Identify if it’s Vegan or Not
It is easy to differentiate between vegan and non-vegan velvet. Non-vegan velvet is made with silk and is quite expensive.
These days, any velvet you come across is likely made of natural or synthetic fabrics that have replaced silk. Because of this, velvet is now more affordable.
Look at the manufacturer’s label to determine what material has been used to make the velvet. It will help you understand where your material is coming from and how it was manufactured.
Several varieties of velvet used in the fashion industry use cotton-blended material. You will also find velvet fabric made from polyester, nylon, raffia, or lyocell. You can choose any fabrics made from these materials, and rest assured that they have been made without any cruelty.
The velvet used for home is nearly always vegan because silk decomposes naturally and is not durable. Due to this reason, most velvet sofas you have sat on were probably vegan. Like other synthetic materials, synthetic velvet has higher durability in terms of tears or rips and cleanliness.
There is, however, one concern that may still bother you as a conservationist. Many vegan velvet fabrics are non-eco-friendly.
Is Velvet Eco-Friendly?
While it may come as a surprise, traditional velvet fabric made with silk is more eco-friendly. In comparison, velvet made using synthetic materials is not good for the environment.
The reason is that the plastic used to make these materials and the methods of collecting plastic are likely to cause harm to animals, plants, and people.
But the good news is that new kinds of vegan and eco-friendly velvet fabrics are available now. Due to the global focus on developing sustainable processes, innovative manufacturers have now developed velvet that protects animals and the environment.
We now reach a very encouraging conclusion for all the vegans out there. It is undoubtedly a relief to know that we can all wear velvet. The only thing we must be careful about is our choice of fabric. Velvet is comfy, soft, and luxurious and certainly adds an element of sophistication to your wardrobe. The good thing is that you can wear velvet without compromising your vegan philosophy!
If you enjoyed reading this article, be sure to check our guide on satin and if it’s vegan.
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