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The Art of Brocade: Uncovering the Secrets of this Exquisite Fabric

  • By FabCouture
  • •  Feb 14, 2023

You don't need to be a fabric expert when we talk of brocade and it is fancy. Brocade looks and feels like high-end work and this is why the brocade fabric dress is always so expensive. The truth is that you don't need to be a great celeb to own a brocade dress. But, if you know a few things about wearing a brocade dress style, you will certainly look like a celebrity every time in a brocade outfit.

What is brocade?

Brocade is a type of woven fabric that is made from twill or satin. Brocade is a raised design that is often floral or can be geometric or abstract as well. This is a heavy fabric that is used in home fabrics and high fashion. You might find it on draperies or upholstery along with other fabrics. The distinct pattern is achieved through a jacquard attachment which is added using a jacquard fabric loom designed for this purpose. This type of loom allows incredible control over warp yarns and this is how the raised pattern of brocade is created.

Types of Brocade Fabric

Many types of brocade created different staples using different fabrics. Different types of brocade are created using different fabrics and weaving techniques to form specific patterns. Brocade is known as embossed cloth because of its raised design.


Cotton brocade is made from cotton fabric and is usually brocaded with cotton. This type of brocade is common in India. Specific types of cotton brocade fabric include Himru, Balucar, Paithani, and jamdani.


HImru brocade is made with silk and cotton. This gives the material sheen and feels of silk and the softness of cotton.


Silk brocade is very smooth and beautiful to the touch. The first brocade fabrics were made from silk fabric and are known as a traditional type of brocade. 


Synthetic brocade is not a type of faux brocade and is often made from synthetic fabrics. It is often made from polyester and other human-made fabric rather than looking like a natural fabric like silk or cotton.


Zari brocade is made from gold or silver thread. This brocade is made from cotton or silk fabric. A very fine quality gold thread and silver wires are used to create the appealing zari brocade design. This makes a pretty fancy party dress. 

History of Brocade

The first brocade fabric dress appeared in China in 475 BCE. The fabric was limited to China for many centuries and could not be sold to people outside China. Around the 6th century, it starts spreading through Asia and Europe. When the jacquard look was discovered in the early 1800s, it was much easier to make and was widely available. Brocade was not a time-consuming and hand-embroidered material that only the wealthy could afford to buy. But, now it does not take much time and is widely available. 

How is brocade fabric used?

Brocade is most commonly used in homewares and decorations rather than it is used in apparel. For instance, drapes and curtains feature brocade patterns and silk drapes are always brocaded. Brocade is a popular choice for furniture upholstery. Classy ornamental chairs feature brocaded cushions and are not common to find sofas that brocade patterns on every surface. 

In your furniture designs, brocade is a popular choice for three pillows. Regardless of the type of upholstery of the material for your bed covers, your couch and a few ornamental pillows lend a sophisticated ambiance to any setting.

Where is brocade fabric produced?

China is the world’s largest exporter and producer of textile products. Only in the case of wool brocade, the east Asian nation is the most prodigious producer of brocade fabric. Australia holds the distinction of being the global capital of wool production in the world but Australian wool producers ship their raw material or yarn to Chinese factories for finishing.

How much does brocade fabric cost?

Brocade is significantly a more expensive fabric than other woven fabrics made from similar materials. While computerized jacquard looms have made brocade more efficient than other forms of fabrics. Brocade producers have come up with intricate designs, and aesthetic appeal alone justifies the prices of the brocade fabric.


Brocade is an intricately woven fabric with a rich history. It is made from elaborate designs and often gold or silver threads. Traditionally, it was used as a ceremonial or formal garment as well as home decors such as upholstery and curtains. Today, it is a high-end fashion fabric used for creating party wear dresses, gowns, and accessories. Hope you like it too!

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