This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Velveteen. Cotton velvet. Velveteen is always of greater width than velvet proper, although woven in exactly the same manner. The making of these goods, for the most part, is in the hands of British manufacturers. All efforts to make them in the United States prior to 1890 were unsuccessful, although a few mills were established upon the passage of the late tariff act. However, large quantities of the raw grey cloth is imported and dyed here, such as the varieties known as " Vulcan," "H," and " Elberon." Dyers assert that the most difficult branch of black-dying upon cotton goods, is that employed for cotton velvets or velveteens, upon which it is desired to produce a rich, lustrous color. The process is long, tedious and uncertain, consisting of successive applications of sumac, acetate of iron, logwood and fustic, the end aimed at being the production of a black with a blush or violet bloom. The English dyers formerly held a monoply of this blue-black upon velvet as it is called. but of late years American dyers have developed into very formidable competitors. English Fast Pile Velveteen is a variety made in England after a new and superior method, insuring the fixity and firm adhesion of the pile, which sometimes wears out of the web when manufactured according to the original plan. The names given to it vary according to the fancy of the several manufacturers who produce it. Among them it is known as " Imperal," " Louis," " Brunswick finish," "Mancunium," and "Peacock." Velveteen Ribbons are cut in strips from fine grades of piece goods, and the edges having no selvage, are sized to prevent raveling.
They are made in lengths of twelve yards, the numbers running from one to forty. They are produced in a variety of colors, beside black, and the widths range from one, one and one-half, two up to ten, and then in even numbers up to twenty, and then to twenty-four, thirty and forty.