Derived from the Latin pilus, meaning ‘hair’, the name of a textile with a soft, cut pile nap that is longer than 3mm, traditionally made of mohair, worsted, silk, cotton or a combination, and now made from synthetic fibres too. It is woven with a double warp: one ‘background’ warp and one ‘hair’ warp connected by the same weft. Whereas in velvet the pile is cut short enough for it to stand almost straight, plush pile is long, glossy, and reclining.
Plush is mostly woven and coloured to imitate animal fur, which it does very well, producing leopard, zebra, tiger and panther as well as fox imitations favoured by the fur coat industry. It’s quite fun when used decoratively in a ski lodge, or indeed anywhere if you are looking for an alternative to real fur.