Velvet giving illusion of depth

Screenshot of “Fabric” from Art Institute of Chicago collection

A close-up of this fabric gives a whole new texture/feel. In real life this fabric scrap is five inches wide. On my screen, it’s over 13 inches wide. The depth of the fabric is increased to the point of where it almost feels like a topography map. Maybe a little maze in a forest.

Using this image in a Google reverse image search comes up with a hedge maze by Adrian Fisher for the Longleat House in Wiltshire, England.

Credit: Adrian Fisher/Adrian Fisher Design via BBC

The depth of the maze lines looks much like the fabric scrap.

The cropped fabric image comes from the Art Institute’s “ArtTab” Chrome extension that displays a random piece of artwork from their collection. I modified the extension to make the images appear full-screen in the browser.

Here’s the original un-cropped image.

“Fragment” Italy 1600/50 from Art Institute of Chicago 1907.414

Velvet casts an illusion?

But you know what? Upon closer inspection, these “deep” areas of the fabric, might actually be velvet. No depth at all! The velvet is making it seem like are parts “dug out” of the fabric. That’s a bit fascinating. Velvet gives the illusion of depth. We all know velvet being desirable for its super soft texture. Velvet also just feels so rich. The overall look of velvet just looks rich and thick. But now there’s also how velvet can make fabric look like it has more DEPTH.

A quick google search for: (velvet gives illusion depth) doesn’t result in anything. Maybe this illusion of depth is a unique one-off situation with this particular image.

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