Updated: May 31, 2022
Let’s get wild in this edition of History of Hues and talk about the color Mink. Mink became a popular color name in the 20th century. While we do not believe in the use of animal fur for apparel or home fashion use, owning a mink coat indicated that you were part of the new and growing middle class in the 1950s.
Minks are from the weasel family and native to the northern hemisphere. They’re a semiaquatic, carnivorous mammal. Most wild minks are dark-colored but can range from a tawny brown to a dark brown that may appear almost black.
Farm-raised mink have a wider range of colors: white, gray, and brown. There are a total of 15 gradations of color within these 3 groups. An experienced furrier can differentiate between the shades of the coat as the animal matures. There is also a difference between the coats and colors of males and females.
It is our responsibility as a brand to bring you alternatives to using animal fur to bring this color into your home. At the drape, we chose the color name mink for the textured velvet because it is a little bit brown and a little bit gold. The soft texture of the textured velvet window curtain seemed to also be a good match to the animal fur it is inspired by.
Velvet is a textile fabric that is woven on a special loom. This loom weaves a fabric that is two pieces of cloth attached in the center by yarns. The fabric is sliced down the center to create two pieces of cloth. Cutting down the center of the two layers and separating them creates the pile effect. The pile is the height of the fibers standing up off the base of the fabric. The pile height and density can vary creating different plush effects. Velvet can be made from a variety of fibers: silk, cotton, rayon, wool, and more. The textured velvet is 100% rayon, which is a manmade fiber.
When velvet fabric was first introduced in Baghdad toward the end of the 700s, it was limited to nobility due to its luxurious feeling and look. The fabric was originally produced in the Middle East. As the cloth gained traction in Europe, it was imported through Venice which became the gate city for velvet fabrics. By the 14th century, Lucca, Italy, produced their own velvets on a large scale and exported them across Europe. The popularity of the fabric was widespread. In England, it is recorded that King Richard II (reign 1377-1399) wanted his body wrapped in velvet upon death before he was buried.
The Black Death killed many residents in Lucca, Italy in 1348. It also caused many of them velvet weavers and silk merchants to relocate to other Italian cities like Venice, Florence, Genoa, and Milan. At the same time, the French King Louis XI wanted the talented weavers in his own country and enticed the Italians to relocate by offering compelling tax exemptions and setting up velvet weaving centers in Lyons and Tours. Spain also recruited Italian velvet weavers to Barcelona, Toledo, and Valencia. Italy, however, remained the leader in caché.
The Industrial Revolution in the 18th century meant that the weaving techniques began to be automated. Velvet became easier to produce, and more velvet on the market lowered the fabric's status and was no longer just for nobility and religious groups.
We are happy that today's velvet is for all! You can have a lot or a little in a room. Don’t be intimidated by velvet or think it is only for luxury. the crushed velvet window curtain can be styled to fit the aesthetic of your room. The mink color is a rich neutral, and the fabric's texture adds the right amount of surface interest to your drapes. In the living room, a back tab panel can add a backdrop to fun furniture. For bedroom curtains, add the blackout liner and sleep like royalty.
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