15th-century Italian Velvet Bangle
This elegant bangle has a design based on a 15th-century Italian velvet panel that may have once graced a skirt. The original panel is ornamented with wide meandering vines and stylized foliage woven in a metal-wrapped thread and its napped details would have tickled the hands of its wearer, as she smoothed her dress. The Italian silk weavers were particularly skilled in the production of such cloths, which were exported throughout Europe, and the art, featuring voided patterns in place of pile, reached its zenith between 1400 and 1600. Nap is the added pile (raised fibres) added to fabrics such as velvet by weaving in loops of yarn. While fabrics employing looped pile were made in ancient Egypt (Tsourinaki, Sophia, 2003), silk velvet appears to have originated in China. See also Renaissance Velvet Textiles.