Decorating & Design

January 4, 2013

Decorating With Luxurious Winter Fabrics

What better way to curl up and enjoy cold winter nights than to fill the house with sumptuous accessories like pillows, blankets, bedding and table linens in soft, warm, luxurious fabrics like velvet, silk, organza and cashmere? These are just a few fabrics that fit the luxe bill.


Most often used in the home as curtain panels and comfy upholstery fabric, velvet is traditionally a plain weave fabric with a cut pile. The industrial revolution made velvet, as well as many other fabrics, a luxury affordable to the masses and much more attainable than it had been in the past. Synthetic fibres are often responsible for velvet’s soft, lustrous hand, but velvet can also be made from natural fabrics such as silk, linen and cotton. Velour, French for “velvet”, is similar in look and feel and is typically a cotton fabric that is made in the same way as velvet but has a denser, deeper pile and a heavier weight. Velveteen can be used as a substitute for velvet and is made in the same manner but has a shorter pile.

Using velvet: Warm up your holiday table with a velvet tablecloth, placemats or runner, or pair a wood table with chairs slipcovered in warm, luxurious velvet.


Fine organza is a lightweight, shiny, sheer fabric usually made with silk, where less expensive organza is made with synthetic fibres.

Using organza: Silk or synthetic organza is a great choice for napkins or table toppers when you want to add a hit of glamour to a dinner party.


Often confused with organza, organdy is similar in look but is typically made of cotton. Organdy doesn’t usually have the same shine or lustre as organza, but is often used as semi-sheer curtain panels.

Using organdy: Both organdy and organza ribbons are well-suited for topping holiday gifts.


Cashmere is a fibre obtained from the Kashmir goat in Tibet, Mongolia, China, India and the Middle East. Most commonly used for sweaters, menswear and coats, cashmere has also been incorporated into home décor. Blankets, throws and duvet covers made of cashmere in handsome earth tones instantly warm up a space.

Using cashmere: Toss a cashmere blanket or throw in red or gold on a chair or sofa.


One of the most luxurious, decadent fabrics, silk is a natural fibre from China. It is produced by the silkworm in the construction of its cocoon. Although silk has a smooth hand, it absorbs moisture, which makes it cool in the summer and warm in the winter — just right for chic holiday decorating.

Using silk: A silk duvet cover is the perfect foil for a chilly night. Pair with velvet cushions for a soft, shimmering bed.

Find more winter design and decorating ideas in our guide.