When you hear the word damask, what comes to mind? If it's an image of a large-scale pattern of swirling, scrolling leafy foliage, then you're partially right. The other part you may not realize is that true damask isn't really a pattern at all. In fact, it's actually a type of fabric! And contrary to popular belief, it isn't just reserved for overly formal spaces anymore. Damask has been elevated to a whole new level and can be used in some exciting ways. Let's learn a little bit more about this fabric and how can be used.

What is Damask? Decorating With Damask Richardson Designer Fabrics and Decor Store

Damask, named after the city of Damascus, is a fabric made through a particular weaving process. As mentioned earlier, true damask is the actual fabric, however, many people use the term interchangeably to reference both the pattern and the fabric itself. Damasks used to be made from pure silk in monochromatic color, but today, that's not the case. Today, the process includes blended fibers, as well as fabrics made of multiple colors.

Pros and Cons of Damask

As with every fabric, damask comes with its share of pros and cons. Fortunately, in this case, the pros outweigh the cons, making it a fabric worth considering. Knowing more about what to expect from this fabric will help determine if it is the right fit for your home. 

The Pros  

In regards to the advantages of using damask in your home, damask is: 

  • Versatile and timeless. Considering that damask has lasted through the ages, it’s safe to say that it is indeed timeless. While many damasks are traditional, some have a contemporary aesthetic, making it easier to mix with other fabrics and use in a wider variety of decorating styles. 
  • Reversible. One cool trait is that damask is reversible. Remember how the pattern of damask is woven, rather than printed? Because of this, the pattern on the backside is the inverse of the front. Go on, give it a flip— you might even like the inside pattern better than the outside! 
  • Graphic yet soft. Damask definitely has a bold, eye-catching pattern that can command a room. The nice thing, though, is that the fluid lines of the pattern give a softer feel. In other words, it’ll be a beautiful focal point without being overpowering. 

 

When it comes to disadvantages, damask is: 

  • Susceptible to abrasion. Damasks tend to be relatively thick, however, their long yarns on the surface are subject to abrasion. This is more likely to occur than it would in a fabric with a balanced weave that is composed of yarns that are equal in both size and strength. A good way to determine if the fabric you’re eyeing will be durable enough for the space is to check the label. Oftentimes, the results from the fabric’s double rub test can be found there. The durability of the fabric also depends on the fiber type. Since damasks are made from a variety of fibers and fiber blends, including rayon, silk, polyester, cotton, and linen, it’s wise to gather more information about each type before making a final purchase.  
  • Costly. Damask is typically more expensive due to its intricately woven pattern. Price varies so much due to the fiber used and the quality of the product, with some of the higher prices out there being upwards of $150+ per yard.

How to Use Damask in Your Home

Although damask is rooted in traditional design, it's made a comeback in recent years, and can be found crossing over into several other design styles. The intricate detail remains a perfect choice for traditional design, but if your taste is modern, it can be just as great. To get the modern look you desire, it's all about contrast. Throw in some unexpected color combinations so your damask looks fresh.

If you're worried about overdoing it with the pattern, opt for a low-contrast color scheme. You'll have visual texture without it becoming too overbearing. With that said, don't be afraid to try damask in a bold color. A cushion in hot pink damask within a white room, or a bold green damask wallpaper in a guest bath, is well worth the risk. 

Still, think a woven fabric like damask is too heavy for your needs? Look for printed alternatives that are inspired by the weave but lighter.

When the time comes to add damask into your home’s decor, be sure to stop by the showroom or browse online to see what we have to offer. In addition to our gorgeous discount designer fabrics, we have the latest in trim, hardware, and accessories at wholesale prices!