Cut, Uncut & Voided
Silk Velvet Italian, early 17th c.
Since the Renaissance,
the weaving of velvet has been one of the most expensive
and complex textile techniques. These sumptuous, multi-dimensional
silks were manufactured for both furnishing and dress
purposes. One of the most popular types of velvet in
the early 17th century, as seen here, is ciselé,
a luxurious combination of uncut looped pile and tufted
cut pile, often on a voided satin surface. Here, a series of diagonally oriented barettes with glossy, plush pile alternate with abstracted foliate cartouches of uncut, looped pile with shorter pile centers. The differing textures and heights
of the pile creates a luminous textile that changes with
the quality of light and with movement. The color combination—deep plum on a golden yellow ground—speaks to the rich interior furnishing schemes of the period.