Damask Vs. Brocade Comparison

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Today we will reveal all the differences between damask and brocade. It is a must read damask vs. brocade comparison if you want to know more about these two fabrics and their origin. They may look similar to you, but they are very different.


Damask was made from silk and it started the life in Damascus, therefore the name. It was used by novelty and reserved for those who had a higher social rank.

Damask kitchen tablecloth

Damask Kitchen Tablecloth by DII

Today, this material is made of different materials, such as cotton, silk, linen, and others. This has to be the most important characteristic of the material and also the first section in our damask vs. brocade comparison.

Construction of damask

Damask is almost always woven using the Jacquard loom. The threads may look raised but they are flat. You can feel this with your fingers at any given moment. This material also has satin weave which appears to float due to the filling threads.

All you need to remember is that there are two main parts of the material. They are warp and filling. Filling uses bigger area and it is used between the warp.

Color options

Damask is usually available in one color. However, the warp and filling threads reflect light different so you get an idea that the material has a two-tone design. This isn’t the only possibility.

In some cases, warp threads can be dyed in a different color. The same applies to the filling threads. They can be dyed in two different colors which makes the fabric looks even better.


Brocade refers to the material which is made of wool and paired with gold or silver threads. Keep in mind that there is also a term brocading which can be implemented to any material.

Damask vs. Brocade Fabric

Metallic Paisley Brocade Fabric by Yard

This type of fabric is fully decorative and independent regarding its properties. Brocading comes from the Latin word, brocāre meaning to pick. It suggests needlework and it is also known as embroidery weaving.


Origin of brocade was confusing at some point in history. Some say that it was developed in ancient China and the first traces of it came from Song dynasty which was on the throne between 960 and 1279.

There are some traces from India as well, but they date later in the 12th century. As such, we can say that brocade originated in ancient China. After the 12th century, we can see that this material was used in Persia, the rest of Asia and even in Europe.

Damask Vs. Brocade – Conclusion

The main facts we have covered are that the damask is a cloth which is made from different materials and has a sleek design, while brocade refers more to brocading, a technique of inserting gold or silver threads into fabric.

As such, it can be paired with different fabrics. These are the main differences in the damask vs. brocade comparison and the ones you need to remember. In addition, damask is used for elite table-related garments and dresses, while brocade is reserved for nobles and treated as expensive technique, regardless of the fabric which was used.