Devore is a technique for creating raised patterns or impressions on blended-fiber material and widely used on velvet fabrics as the base. The technique is currently used along with screen printing to create striking patterns of desired sizes.
The word Devore finds it origin in the French word dévorer which means to engulf. This is reflected in the technique wherein the application of a special chemical paste on a blended-fiber fabric will dissolve soluble fibers of the fabric that comes in contact with the chemical and retain the insoluble fibers such as silk, wool and polyester thereby creating a pattern. Cotton and rayon are also used in addition to velvet.
The Devore style of making patterns on fabrics gained popularity in the 1920s. In the late 1980s and 19990s, James Conran brought this style quite popular and also introduced it in the men’s fashion arena. In the film “My fair Lady”, the Devore pattern can be seen as spotted by the lead female protagonist of the film portrayed by Audrey Hepburn. The credit of popularizing the Devore style also goes to Georgina von Etzdorf who made velvet scarves a rage in those times. In 1993, Etzdorf incorporated the Devore technique in designing her velvet scarves, which turned out to be a huge success.
Also known as the Burnout technique, sodium hydrogen sulfate is the chemical used in this process. The Devore technique involved ample time and money during the early days. With time, however, technological advancement have made this technique economical and also rendered it possible to recreate it in smaller settings.