Brocade is a beautiful fabric for a waistcoat because hundreds of different colourways and patterns that can embellish a man or women’s waistcoat.
What is Brocade?
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics that have intricate patterns, often made in coloured silks that are accented with gold and silver threads. The name originates from the Spanish ‘broccado’ and Italian word broccato which means ’embossed cloth’ or ‘cloth of gold and silver’.
Brocade is a woven fabric with a raised figured or floral design that is added during the weaving process. The design, which appears normally only on the fabric face, is usually made in a twill or satin weave. The background may be satin, twill or plain weave. Brocade is not usually reversible I.e. most designs look best on the top face.
How is Brocade Made?
Brocade is typically created by being woven on a draw loom. It is a supplementary weft technique where the ornamental brocading is produced by extra, non-structural, weft in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together. The idea of the extra thread is to give the appearance that the weave is actually embroidered on.
A double weft technique can provide more stiffness should the design require a heavier fabric.
Usually one highlight colour, or several colours, are used to give the pattern greater attention. Often a darker contrast is used to outline and solid areas highlighted, or it will be woven with a gold metallic thread. This technique produces more textured fabric surface, which is raised in some areas and lowered in others.
How is Brocade Used?
For much of history brocade fabrics have been used to denote status and as garments assigned for ceremonial events. Brocade has always been associated with lavishness and opulence; it’s a richly patterned fabric that’s the most glamorous of clothing – needing no further embellishment.
Brocade is rich, fairly heavy fabric that has a number of different application in drapery, eveningwear, upholstery, stage costume and formal wear such as waistcoats.
Just add a brocade waistcoat to instantly brighten up plain attire.
Chinese brocade uses typical meandering Chinese patterns of branches, dragons, cherry flowers and Chinese symbols.
“A textile fabric woven with a pattern of raised figures, originally in gold or silver; in later use, any kind of stuff richly wrought or “flowered” with a raised pattern; also a cloth of gold and silver of Indian manufacture.”