Did you know that a study of fashion can take you on a better journey through history than many history books? Each year the Château d’Ussé regales us with a different exhibition of period costumes! This year, we will follow the steps of this precious fabric, “the velvet”.

For a long time the prerogative of princes and kings, symbol of power and wealth, velvet has traversed the centuries evolving to the rhythm of needs, demands and covetousness.

Although born in China more than two thousand years before our era, we will have to wait until the 12th century to see its arrival in Italy.

The weavers of Venice, Genoa and Lucca were the first to try producing the rich velvet textures in Europe.

Originally made from silk, velvet requires up to 6 times more material than traditional fabrics and is therefore reserved for an elite. It was somewhat democratized in the 19th century thanks to the use of cotton.

As “Fur textile”, the only three-dimensional fabric, velvet is sometimes plain, sometimes ciselé, embossed, crushed, pile-on-pile, voided, Devoré, hammered, gregarious, gandin or even chiffon.

More about the exhibition