Monday, November 10, 2008

velvet tip

Here's a trick I figured out for reviving velvet. It's probably an old trick, but it was new to me.

Obviously you can't press velvet or the nap will compress, and some synthetic velvets I'm even afraid to steam, because the heat of a steam iron will sometimes cause rayon or acetate to shrink, fade or contort.

If you have some flat spots in your velvet, try this.

Get a household mister bottle full of clean water. We have a simple spray bottle I bought at the grocery store for $2; it has an adjustable nozzle so I can either squirt the cat with a fast stream, or spray a light mist over my ironing.

You will also need a fabric brush. Again, not anything new, but the first one I saw was like a revelation. It's a device shaped like a paddle hairbrush or a hand-mirror; skinny handle with a swollen flat head. On both sides of the head are circles of fabric with a stiff directional nap--it feels a little like the velvet itself, but rougher. You can find fabric brushes in the grocery store or big-box store, near the ironing boards and other laundry care items. They are also good for taking pet hair and lint off your clothes.

  1. Hang up your velvet piece.
  2. Mist the flat area with water.
  3. Brush the nap in multiple directions with the fabric brush until the flattened nap stands up in line with its surroundings.
  4. Let hang until dry.

That's it! If it's really stubborn you can try applying careful steam (only to warm the fabric,) then mist and brush.

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