Rich heavy jacquard-woven fabric with raised floral or figured patterns emphasized by contrasting surfaces of colors. Satin or twill figures on plain, twill, or satin grounds may be used. Often it is made with gold or silver threads. The design appears on the face of the fabric, which is distinguished easily from the back. Brocade was originally an elegant heavy silk fabric with a floral or figured pattern woven with gold or silver thread, produced in China and Japan. Uses: evening dresses, wraps, draperies, upholstery, decorative purposes.
Phyllis G. Tortora, Ingrid Johnson The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles 8th Edition