So, you have bought your velvet fabric and perhaps even completed your velvet sewing project. If so, you've experienced firsthand the
basics of velvet - you have discovered just how challenging working with velvet can be. Here are a few tips to help you take care of that special creation!
Because of its unique pile, velvet cannot be pressed on a normal ironing board. Steam velvet rather than pressing it by using a needle board. If the cost of a needle board is an issue, use a piece of deep pile velvet put aside for just such pressing. Plush towels might also be used in the same way.
Use a needle board (or velvaboard) which has a wire pile about 1 cm high (much like a wire pet brush). This wire pile keeps the delicate fibers of the velvet pile from being crushed by the iron.
Place this board with the wire side up on your ironing surface. Place the velvet pile side down on top of the needle board. Steam the seams open, holding the iron several inches above the fabric.
Use a press cloth as an extra precaution to avoid over ironing your fabric. Over ironing can damage the velvet's pile causing crushing and permanent shine on your fabric.
Again, test your steaming techniques to discover much you can steam your fabric.
Carefully steam any hems, darts, or other heavy fabric areas by placing a piece of brown paper between the top layer and the heavy fabric below. This will avoid leaving permanent impressions on the right side of your fabric.
If you are storing your velvet, roll it rather than folding it. You won't be able to remove creases that will develop from folding - they will become permanent over time.
Be careful when using pins as some velvets will be permanently marked with the pinholes. Try to pin only on or within the seams. Please read my
sewing with velvet fabric tips for more information on successfully sewing velvet.
Velvet cannot be washed in a machine. It must be dry cleaned or carefully hand washed. It is delicate and must be air dried. I would suggest having your velvet item professionally cleaned for safest results.
If you would like to try hand washing it yourself, use a test scrap first. Brush your item in the direction of the nap when the fabric is wet with a clothes brush or a soft cloth like a washcloth.
Keep in mind that you cannot spot treat velvet because you will cause water spots. I recommend using the same cleaning methods you would use with any other delicate silk fabric.
Revive your velvet item by hanging it in a steam-filled bathroom. Try bringing your crushed velvet back to life by giving it a simple soft brushing.