More often than not, when you’re in the mood to create something elegant, you’d usually think about fabrics other than quilting cottons. Well, pattern designers always love to work with cottons for a whole lot of reasons: the fabric is easy to sew with; it is printed in vivid, gorgeous designs; and the quilting industry is loves to sponsor designers with the said fabric especially if they are to feature them.
(Picture from www.1860-1960.com)
Nevertheless, when talking about the realm of fabrics, there are just so many choices to choose from. And because you’re not quite sure how to work with them, most beautiful fabrics are taken for granted when they make a lovely finished product.
One of the most underappreciated fabrics is velvet (it probably has scared you just by reading it). Some say that it’s hard to sew with, or that velvet is slippery and expensive.
The Different Types of Velvet
Velvet covers a wide range of fabrics, all of which can be made from silk, cotton, linen, wool, rayon, polyester, nylon or acetate; although it is really divided velvet into three basic categories, which are based on how you finish it compared to what it’s made from:
- Cotton or Twill Velvet
- Triple Velvet
- Stretch Velvet
To help get a feel about Velvet fabrics, below are tips on how to use such luxurious product.
Most, if not all, sorts of velvet are required to be dry cleaned. Of course, that alone can make you have second thoughts. Anyway, if you decide to purchase this fabric velvet from a well-reputable seller, cleaning directions will always come with it. In fact, there are some that can be either hand washed or machine washed in cold water. So before kick-start your garment, be mindful to prewash the fabric. Just remember to treat as you will treat the finished product; thus if you are to hand wash it, then hand wash the fabric prior to starting to cut.
(Picture from www.inkfrog.com)
If you cut the fabric with the nap, always go in similar direction. If you notice from any piece of velvet, it has fibers that lay in a particular direction. This pile is the so-called nap. Some sewers like the nap to go above on the garment, while others like to go on an opposite direction (down). Either way, it still needs to go in the same direction. Velvet tends to become darker when the nap goes up.
When cutting, cut the velvet with the pile facing in (only if folded); while the wrong side of the fabric facing up towards you.
Since velvet can sometimes be slippery, always test a few sets before jumping into the actual sewing. You can start by pinning the fabric with pins, and try to mostly pin in the seam allowance. Next, sew two sets of fabric together using your normal sewing machine foot. If the fabric slips, just switch to your walking foot. If you are still experiencing issues, better yet hand-baste your seams. Only then can you sew them with a sewing machine