Optical properties (bidirectional reflection distribution functions) of velvet

Rong Lu, Jan J. Koenderink, Astrid M L Kappers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A detailed investigation has been made of the unusual characteristics of the angular distribution of surface scattering from velvet in the visual region. We present a novel method in which samples of velvet fabric are wrapped around a right-circular cylinder so that reemitted radiance can be measured by a digital CCD camera. This setup makes it relatively simple to acquire a large set of bidirectional reflection distribution function (BRDF) samples. The study reveals that, apart from the grazing specular lobe and an anisotropic backscattering peak near 50°, the overall BRDF’s are rather uniform across the whole angular span of observation. Attempts are made to relate these scattering characteristics to the physical and the geometrical structure of velvet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5974-5984
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1998


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