Why We Love J.B. Martin Velvet
There’s just something about velvet. There are very few people in this world who can resist the luster, softness, and satisfying tactile nature of this luxurious fabric. You can’t help but touch it.
We sell JB Martin velvets more than any other. Why? It’s simple: They’re leading the industry in quality velvet. JB Martin is the oldest continuous manufacturer of woven velvets, perfecting their craft since 1832 right here in the states. Since 1954, the company’s main production facility has been our neighbor in Leesville, South Carolina. JB Martin is the oldest continuous manufacturer of woven velvets. COCOCOHome owner, Steve Sechrest says, “We use JB Martin because they’re the very best. There’s no reason for us to turn to a company made in China that compromises on performance and quality. We also haven’t found a company that does color as well as JB Martin.” That’s probably because JB Martin understands velvet like no other. Jean Baptiste Martin is credited with having invented the face-to-face double weaving loom for the production of velvet. This invention increased daily velvet production from 30 inches per loom to 165 inches. That’s a lot of velvet!
Like COCOCO, JB Martin is a family-run business, having passed down the beautiful tradition of quality velvet for six generations! Plus, we’ll always be partial to anything made in America, making JB Martin a natural partner.
WHAT IS VELVET?
Velvet is a thick, soft-pile woven fabric made from yarn (traditionally silk yarn, but today is largely made in cotton and synthetic yarn, which is very cleanable). It’s a fabric that has stood the test of time, having been manufactured for almost 4,000 years and has been famously known as the fabric of royalty due to its durability, beauty, and the amount of time it takes to produce. It is always a quality choice. Velvet is woven on a double piece loom, which simultaneously creates two fabrics. As the cloth comes off the loom, the pile ‘sandwich’ is cut down the center to create two pieces of velvet. The pile of velvet is actually formed from the warp (the lengthwise yarns). After cutting, velvet is often sheared for evenness and then dyed. While still wet, the velvet is brushed so that the fabric sets with a grain. This produces the rich luxurious feel that one can’t help but touch.
- Velvet furniture carries a feeling of indulgence, comfort, and coziness while also being a striking piece in any room. Velvet tends to steal the show for its texture and durability
- It’s easy to clean, most stains can be dabbed away with a dry cloth. For truly difficult stains you can simply steam the fabric and then brush in the direction of the pile. If you have kids, you should absolutely consider buying velvet furniture.
- Velvet actually looks better with age. Over time you may notice that velvet develops a sort of patina, like fine leather upholstery.
- Velvet is long-wearing. If you are worried about the delicacy of velvet, you couldn’t be further from the truth. It is actually the most durable furniture material out there besides leather and is a fine choice for furniture. Many of the velvets we offer are tough, rated for 50,000 – 250,000 Wyzenbeek double-rub cycles. The Wyzenbeek test is the standard in the United States and involves a machine on which the test fabric is pulled tight over a frame and then rubbed back and forth using a cotton fabric. Every back and forth motion is called a “double rub,” and they are counted until there are either two yarn breaks or the wear is evident. Checks are made in intervals of 1,000 rubs or greater, and at 15,000 double-rubs a fabric is rated for “heavy” use. So, yeah. JB Martin velvet isn’t wearing out any time soon!
- Though it attracts fur for pet owners, velvet will not be damaged by pets. Because velvet does not have raised weaves, loops, or loose threads, it’s nearly impossible for the material to snag – perfect for pet owners. That means even cats can’t scratch it! (We love the ChomChom roller for removing pet hair from velvet in a few seconds flat!).
TYPES OF JB MARTIN VELVET
For the full range of colors (way more than you can see on our website) consider visiting one of our showrooms, or requesting samples in a color range. While we strive to provide accurate imagery, remember that materials may vary from swatch photos due to studio lighting, monitor calibration, and dye lot changes. For color-critical use cases, we recommend reviewing a physical swatch. Plus, there are just so many options for gorgeous velvet in a variety of textures and depths. You’ll want to feel and see the fabric for yourself to make the most educated decision on your ideal velvet.
Milan is an antiqued, distressed-look velvet constructed with specialty acrylic fiber, Dralon. Dralon is a proprietary blend that is highly durable and resists marking and bruising. This unique blend gives Milan a beautiful, silky luster and sheen, providing a vintage look. The slub cotton filling adds to the worn-in, casual-cool appearance, while the striation communicates elegance and depth in the light reflection. Rated at 50,000 Wyzenbeck cycles and with a stain-repellent silicone finish, Milan is suitable for contract and residential applications. It is available in a selection of 42 beautiful colors.
Como is a 100% cotton velvet with a smooth texture and a lustrous finish. Don’t be deceived by a small sample – this velvet has a luxe and soft appearance with a noticeable sheen that dresses up any piece. Como has a soft hand but is also extremely durable at 100,000 double rubs (Wyzenbeck cycles). Como has an effective silicone-based stain repellent applied during the milling process that will cause spills to bead on the surface. But when you touch it, you’d never know it was a performance fabric. This tough yet soft fabric comes in a colorway of 48 choices.
Need our toughest velvet? Porto is a durable 100% polyester velvet with a performance finish and is rated at 250,000 double rubs. This velvet is highly cleanable and has some really gorgeous jewel tones. This is more of a matte velvet.
With a 100% cotton pile, Cannes is an elegant, washed-looking velvet. The pile is inviting and friendly, soft to the touch, and has surprising toughness at 50,000 double rubs. Cannes’ gentle striation creates subtle dimension, a great cross between Como and Milan. The collection comes in 38 colors ranging from warm neutrals to vibrant or beautifully cool tones.
100% solution-dyed acrylic which won’t fade in sunlight, and you can even use a bleach-based cleaner such as Fantastic or 409 on it (though in most instances, water with a bit of Dawn dish soap will get out pretty much everything!). The acrylic fiber gives an almost metallic fleck to the fabric. Corsica is a performance indoor-outdoor plush velvet fabric that is resistant to soil, stains, mildew and fading. This is an ideal upholstery material for your family room or sun porch.
Nevada by JB Martin is a 100% Mohair velvet, which is known for its durability and crush resistance. Mohair is a very different velvet and comes at a much higher price point, but overall is prized for its strength, easy care, luster, and color. The fiber takes color easily and has a bit of a translucent effect, which makes mohair incredibly desirable. Most often it is used in hotels, cruise ships, and other commercial uses, as well as in residential homes. Nevada has a durability of 80,000 double rubs.
JB Martin’s Bruges is a velvet made with 100% viscose-rayon that has a rich luster and luxurious sheen, reminiscent of fine silk velvet. The velvet’s fine slub is woven with thick and thin yarn in the weft direction with a lush rayon pile that lends to traditional, contemporary or transitional style.
This velvet has a high light reflection and touchable soft texture while retaining JB Martin’s expected toughness of 100,000 double rubs using the Wyzenbeek test method. The finishing contains a robust stain and soil repellent making it a high-performance velvet. We love the well-rounded colorway of Bruges, with some really gorgeous pastels and rich jewel tones.
WHAT KIND OF VELVET IS BEST?
It’s always best to drop into one of our showrooms (locations in Charlotte, Nashville and Atlanta) to feel each velvet in person or request swatches mailed to your home. You may discover you prefer a matte velvet after seeing on an actual furniture piece or the light reflection of another. Some velvets show their beauty best on tufted furniture, some may look unimpressive on a swatch but in person are lovely. You might like the look of one but the feel of another velvet. Not all velvets are created equal! Choosing a velvet is just as personal as choosing a leather and a style of furniture. Contact us to request swatches today.