brocade bag

What is Brocade Fabric?

What is brocade fabric

you may have heard the term brocade. But what is it? It actually refers to a very expensive and ornate way of embroidering clothes. It is often made with gold and silver thread, as well as lavish coloured silks and fine materials. 

women with brocaded skirt

women with brocaded skirt

This is made by using a shuttle woven fabric. Such as the spinning jenny. 

Brocade meaning

The meaning of the word actually stems from Italian ‘Broccato’ which means embossed cloth. It again breaks down with a Latin meaning of ‘projecting, pointed’ which refers to the pin point precision of the designs; almost like needlework. It differs to damask, and chintz in quite a few ways. 

What is brocade

Wondering what is a brocade? It is a richly decorated fabric.Traditionally usually, brocade is woven onto a draw loom . Because of the way the stitching looks on a draw loom, the ornamental element of the design of the brocade actually protrudes front eh fabric, giving it this embroidered embossed effect which is very interesting, given the fact it is simply woven. 

What is brocade fabric

It is a very fine fabric said to originate from 250BC China. Of course at this point it was only for the elite few, and people would have crafted it for kings and queens, and nobles only. This was the same throughout the middle ages, we see the trade spreading through Europe, for example Greece as well as Persia, and India. 

brocade bag

brocade bag

The fabric was mostly woven in the byzantine empire. Which means it was, for most places, expensive to import, and trade with because of its exotic nature and therefore for the longest time was incredibly sought after and expensive. It is only in recent times that the brocade fabric has become much less rare of a commodity, and therefore more of the general public have access to it. 

Who bought brocade?

Many rich people wore brocade, it was a big social status symbol at the time because of how difficult it was to find. It has also been said that silk was almost impossible to create and make in the 4th century – 6th century because the chinese kept how they processed silk a secret which is kind of genius if you think about it!

What is brocade material

This is usually made from silk and other expensive materials such as woven gold and silver. Silk is made from silk worms, and how exactly to care for them and harvest them was kept secret by the Chinese. Eventually the secret was let out by two travelling monks, and thus the world discovered silk, and just how useful it could be in making fine quality silk, in materials such as clothing, table clothes, wall coverings, thread and other precious materials and commodities. Think of how revolutionary this would have been in the middle ages. 

What is brocade blouse

You may have heard this used on clothing and fabrics and you can actually get brocade blouses although this method is more prominent on dress clothing and old style tunics, you can also find it on more modern pieces. 

 

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