The Sewing Place

Washing velvet?

Francesca

Washing velvet?
« on: September 07, 2019, 16:33:29 PM »
I bought some velvet to make a floor length gown for a wedding I'm going to in October.

Only other experience sewing with velvet was the cotton stuff I used for the flower girl dress. That was a lot more stiff and easy to sew with. This one is definitely going to be a bit more tough!

My query was about washing. It's polyester woven, so probably won't shrink that much, but I'm a bit concerned that if i do wash it it'll ruin the beautiful pile.

Do you reckon it's worth prewashing it, or should I just sew the dress up and treat it as dry-clean only?
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Kwaaked

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 17:52:40 PM »
Unless the fabric is bothering you with chemicals or something, I wouldn't prewash it.  Poly velvet won't shrink.

As to laundering, https://www.thelaundress.com/how-to/velvet.html has several methods. 

The pile determines how I wash velvet.  Very short or crushed pile, I throw it in the washer and even then it depends on what it is if I even use a delicate cycle (ie: a crushed velvet tee shirt just gets washed and dried like a cotton one).

On ironing, unless you have a velvet board I wouldn't touch it.  I don't find the pads (homemade or purchased) to be all that helpful.  And don't touch the iron to the fabric: use the steam only to set the seams.  And when it is made, a garment steamer is useful.

Saying that, if it is just a floor length gown without the internal structure of a gown, I'd hand wash it.  If it is made as a formal gown, then I would dry clean it.

Greybird

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 22:55:07 PM »
If it was mine I'd treat it as dry clean only. If you do want to risk washing it though, you could lay it, pile down, on a bath sheet (probably need to do this in more than one piece), then roll the towel tightly, secure with rubber bands and then hand wash the whole thing. You could try this with a small piece first. I used to use this method, years ago, to wash delicate things which weren't supposed to be washed.

Carillion

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 17:41:13 PM »
I made a teal-coloured velvet pinafore dress for a neighbour's daughter last year.

She wanted to wear it for a Christmas party later on in the year and her mum had it dry cleaned.

It turned out beautifully, only problem was the the top of the zip was slightly discoloured.

It didn't cause any problems though. I bought the velvet from John Lewis, can't remember the exact % but was probably 80% polyester 20% cotton.

Catllar

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 16:57:42 PM »
I have to wash poly stretch velvet  dresses- it pongs a bit after a couple of performances - I just hand wash it and hang it from the was it to drip dry. Never iron it - it melts very easily as I've found out. and you can squish the pile!
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Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2019, 20:45:19 PM »
I've just got some crushed velvet, it's polyester so I'm sure it will wash perfectly well - not that I ever pre-wash fabrics  :P

blackcat001

Re: Washing velvet?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 12:21:56 PM »
I've just got some crushed velvet, it's polyester so I'm sure it will wash perfectly well - not that I ever pre-wash fabrics  :P

I made myself a black velvet tunic some years ago. It's quite a heavy fabric I bought from John Lewis IIRC. I turn it inside out, put it on a 40C wash & dry it in the tumble dryer. No problems!