Velvet comes from silk, but there are many imitations made from cotton and other materials. Real velvet is a closely woven fabric made by weaving loops of silk on to two silk backcloths, one on top of the other. In between the two backcloths the woven silk will form what is called a pile. The pile is soft, furry hairs characteristic of velvet and many carpets.
The two layers of silk, which have been woven face to face, will have long furry pile yarns connecting the two layers. After the cloth is woven, the two layers are sliced apart leaving two separate soft rows of velvet.
Velvet was originally developed in the 15th Century in Italy from where the art spread throughout the world. Turkish velvets especially successful and beautiful designs from 16th and 17th Century Turkey survive today.