What can’t a picture tell you? Well, how about size. Unless you have a life size image available it is virtually impossible for someone to look at an a photo and calculate how big the item is – at least without some kind of reference in the photo or the complex computer technology found only in CSI or Bones.
Texture is another perfect example, a photo (no matter how good it is) can deceive the eye so easily. Is it possible to SEE soft, or ridigd or prickly? We see things that insinuate that something is prickly – you look at a cactus and see needles you think “youch!” you look at bird and see feathers and think – “soft”.
Though most would have a vague idea that the word brocade, in the traditional sense, is a class of richly decorative material. Would they know that it is mainly silk, typically woven on a draw loom and would they also know that it is easy to note because the ornamental features that make up brocade frequently create a low relief effect. Would they know this is a tradition perfected in Italy mainly areas like Florence – famous for its silk and leather production. And more important, would they know how to compare it to a flocked brocade?
So what is a flocked brocade? The difference between a brocade and a flocked brocade is the production method. A “normal” brocade material, one which can be used for clothing, dresses, handbags and accessories is typically a shuttle-woven fabric that gives an embossed effect to the cloth so that it shows a low relief. Whereas a flocked material consists of a “process of depositing many small fiber particles onto a surface”, thus giving it a low relief effect. And though today’s flocked materials are normally done with a flocking machine which allows for the application with a high-voltage electric field
“Historians claim that flocking can be traced back to circa 1000 BC, when the Chinese used resin glue to bond natural fibers to fabrics.”
Yet even when you know all of this, can you distinguish a flocked brocade from an embossed brocade with a photo online? An embossed brocade still implies a heavily ornate design of swirls and leaves but it also expands and includes designs like imitation crocodile or python skin. the method changes. Normally it is found on material that is soft and thick so that the relief design will be more evident, like in leather. The embossed relief is actually pressed into the leather, crushing some areas and leaving the “design” part.