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what kind of black velvet is used for backgrounds?

paul lovichi , Jan 30, 2006; 11:25 a.m.


i know this sounds stupid , but what kind of velvet is used for backgrounds in studio photography? is it just nrmal crushed velvet from fabric shops?




T Feltus , Jan 30, 2006; 11:31 a.m.

hi paul, crushed velved will catch the light, giving you a marbled effect. if you want a pure dropout then i would get normal cotton velvet. however if you hunt around the forums there have been some discussions of other fabrics, as well as some ebay shops that sell black backgrounds for around �30 ukp, which is probably about what you would spend on cheap velvet anyway.


James Falconer , Jan 30, 2006; 12:26 p.m.

I have a background from photek that does the job very well. I believe the color is called blackest black, or something like that. It sells for $150.

Tim Corridan - Queen Creek, Arizona , Jan 30, 2006; 01:47 p.m.

"blackest black, background-in-a-bag" by photek, will seem more like a subject floating in a black void. you could use something lighter, a charcoal black. and learn how to turn the background black w/ out a black background.

Steve Singleton , Jan 30, 2006; 02:12 p.m.

Distance between the subject and background is a key factor. In my experience, black velvet (or velveteen) is needed to photograph small products. It acts as an effective light trap to prevent light from reflecting back toward the lens. For people, however, I've used much less expensive, and wider, black felt from the fabric store to produce a nice black background. With at least six feet of distance between a portrait subject and the felt, I've had good results as long as I take care to flag stray light off the cloth. In a professional situation, you might prefer a more elegant solution, but for occasional use the felt can work well--certainly better than black background paper.

John Murphy , Jan 30, 2006; 06:33 p.m.

Slightly off topic, but here's a link to an interesting photo done using black velvet.

Bill Murray , Jun 23, 2008; 09:14 p.m.

The most versatile, photo-friendly background material I've found is Velvet Pile, a 100% nylon with polyester foam center and acetate jersey back material designed for application on posterboard or walls, so you can affix things with Velcro hood-side tape. The colors are rich and saturated, the shadows soft, and the material 'heals' well when pins and supports are poked through. Very photo-friendly. It comes in 60-inch width @ $19.95/yard in a number of colors, though I currently see only three listed: ask. The Black is amazing, and the 'Silver' is a beautiful, neutral Grey. I'm sure it's available other places, but I've always found it at Display and Costume Supply in Seattle. http://www.displaycostume.com/Velvet-Loop-Fabric-p-48874.html dac@displaycostume.com Toll-free 888-562-4810

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