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Silk velvet was first woven in Europe during the second half of the 13th century, but it reached its peak of perfection during the 15th and 16th centuriesthe Renaissance. The V&A holds one of the finest collections of Renaissance velvets, including a papal carpet, a 16th-century cloak, books and caskets covered in velvet, and numerous ecclesiastical vestments. This unique book introduces these velvets to the general reader, setting them within historical contexts, exploring the skills and special equipment needed to produce velvet, and describing the basic weaving techniques. A beautifully illustrated catalog of 50 lush pieces, all newly photographed with many close-up details, this book includes detailed weave analyses and diagrams.