Why does velvet fabric look so different from other fabrics when exposed to light?

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Why does velvet fabric look so different from other fabrics when exposed to light?

In: Physics
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Velvet fabric is woven to have many fibres poking straight out, unlike most fabrics where the fibres all lie along the fabric. So you are looking at the endds of many fibres of velvet, but the flat sides of the fibres in others.

The sides of the fibres are shiny, so light reflects off them. The ends are not; and much light falls between the ends of the fibres, where it bounces between them and is absorbed. In this way, much more of the light is absorbed by velvet, and much less reflected, leading to a surface that is much less shiny.