Caring For Velvet

Velvet has a soft, graceful drape that falls close to the body.  It may be gathered or shirred into a limp fullness.  This slippery, napped fabric stretches easily and is challenging to cut and sew.  Choose simple styles with few seams to avoid overworking the fabric and crushing the pile.  Use to make draperies, evening clothes, and costumes and apparel for special occasions.  Drycleaning is strongly recommended. 

What to expect with Velvet:
  • fabric is slippery
  • challenging to cut and sew
  • has a nap
  • stretches easily
  • will not tear
  • pins and needles may leave holes, marks
  • tends to shed
  • attracts lint
  • stretches
  • crushes easily
  • water drops leave spots or marks

Suggested care:
  • dryclean only
  • dry iron
  • iron on the wrong side
  • use a needleboard
  • may fade, bleed or shrink slightly
Sewing rating (easy to hard): challenging
Suggested clothing fit: fitted, semi-fitted, or loose-fitting
Suggested styles: unpressed tucks; full, soft gathers; elasticized shirring; lined; loose and full; soft and flowing; draped

Silk’s Limitations:
Silk is regarded as nature's most perfect fiber, but even perfection has its limitations:
  • Soap and agitation - Silk's smooth surface does not attract dirt and is easily cleaned, but silk can be damaged by most laundry detergents - so always dry clean your silk.  Silk loses strength when wet, so do not wring or agitate.
  • Bleach - Silk is easily damaged by strong bleaches that contain sodium hypochlorite. 
  • Heat and light - Silk is sensitive to heat and begins to decompose at 330 degrees fahrenheit.  Use a warm (not hot) iron.
  • Mildew and moths - Silk will not mildew except in extreme conditions.  Moths don't care for it, but carpet beetles do.
  • Perspiration - Perspiration causes silk to deteriorate and affects the color, causing staining.  Any silk worn next to the skin should be cleaned frequently.