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how to wash velvet?
allorache
allorache  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/9/14 3:32 PM

Had to place my mom in an adult foster care home and clean out her house. Since my sister doesn't sew much I took most of my mom's fabric stash. There's some beautiful blue velvet and I haven't worked with that kind of fabric before...Obviously there's no label or instructions and my mom isn't going to be able to remember to tell me. I'm just wondering how to wash it before I use it for anything -- warm water, cold water, dryer, no dryer, or should it not be machine washed at all? Thanks

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j Renee Design
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j Renee Design
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Date: 4/9/14 4:03 PM

I would dry clean it, for fear of ruining the luscious pile. But, I'm sure that someone else knows more about it than me!
-- Edited on 4/9/14 4:03 PM --

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SewLibra
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Date: 4/10/14 0:45 AM

I would also say dry clean, however I looked up "Can you wash velvet" on the web and there are lots of posts and suggestions. Maybe cut a piece off and try it first.

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SewLibra
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ASiverson
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Date: 4/10/14 9:32 AM

Oh, so sorry about your mom. As to the velvet, can you cut a piece and try out hand washing and air drying it perhaps? Good luck!

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tateelliott

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Date: 4/10/14 6:04 PM

I have a suit made of red cotton velvet. I washed a swatch of it a few times to see how it stood up. I've now washed the suit two or three times every December for the last ten or so years, and it is still in very good shape, although I had to replace the front of the pants where the nap was warn away from children sitting there.

Of course, your velvet may be polyester, rayon, or even silk. Wash a swatch and see what happens.

Tate

Oh, and I let it air dry.
-- Edited on 4/10/14 6:06 PM --

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Doris W. in TN
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Date: 4/10/14 6:09 PM

Cut and serve a 4" or 6" square, wash & dry, and assess it. I have a lovely cotton velvet that machine washes and dries very nicely.

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stirwatersblue
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Date: 4/10/14 7:26 PM

I have successfully machine washed (and lightly dried) silk velvet (rayon with silk pile), synthetic velvet, and cotton velvet. I have some RTW velvet clothing, and the washing instructions are mixed (some silks say to machine wash, some synthetics say hand...).

What does the velvet feel like? Cotton velvet is very dense, with a short pile, and the direction of the nap is easier to see than feel. Silk velvet is very, very soft, and the color is incredibly rich. Poly/synthetic velvets are shiny in a different way, feel ever-so-slightly "crunchy," and the nap is often much softer in one direction.

Your main concerns when washing any fabric are shrinkage, bleeding, wrinkling, or a change in drape/hand. Whisking it out of the wash IMMEDIATELY will minimize wrinkling, and drying briefly (~20 minutes or so) on low will revitalize the pile without causing undue shrinkage. You can further fluff up the pile as it continues to air dry. If wrinkles occur, steam press it face down on a fluffy towel, or itself.

Test a swatch first, just to see how it behaves, and then off you go! :)
-- Edited on 4/10/14 7:31 PM --

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~Gem in the prairie

crankyoldlady
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Date: 4/12/14 0:05 AM

Think of cotton velvet as "un-waled" corduroy. You can wash it accordingly.

All other velvets are best dry cleaned.

frame
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frame
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Date: 4/12/14 0:08 AM

Can you do a burn test to determine the fiber content?

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Nancy K
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In reply to allorache <<


Date: 4/12/14 5:09 PM

You can wash velvet, but the fabric definitely look different. Always when you don't know what to do with a fabric do a swatch test. I cut a piece that is somewhat uneven in outline, then trace it. This way when you wash the sample you will be able to see if and which direction it shrunk. I'd also do a burn test to get a feeling for what it's made of.
Instead of using your washing machine for one small sample, thoroughly wet it and put it on high in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until dry.

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