What is velveteen? If you need a fabric similar to velvet yet need to save money, you can always opt for velveteen fabric as a replacement. After all, this fabric has been intentionally created to imitate the features of velvet. Moreover, typical velvet is made of silk and is very expensive per yard. On the other hand, velveteen is made of cotton mixed with some silk, making it less expensive yet suitable for numerous uses.
What is Velveteen
Velvet vs. Velveteen: What’s the Difference?
Velveteen has become a popular trend among clothing manufacturers because it offers a sense of elegance at an affordable price. So, when it comes to the question, “what is velveteen,” you first need to understand how it differs from actual velvet.
In this case, the splendor of velvet comes from its history. In fact, velvet was a popular fabric in numerous royal cultures throughout history. Nowadays, it remains the top choice among clothing manufacturers, especially regarding the fabric quality.
Moreover, one significant reason people purchase velvet fabric is simply due to its significance in history. After all, only a few fabric types have come close to the characteristics of velvet ever since it was first used centuries ago.
In contrast, velveteen is a more modern development created with practicality as its priority rather than a luxury. Yet, the difference between velveteen and velvet fabric is the composition.
After all, the weaving process is the same for both, giving velveteen fabric a close resemblance to velvet. In fact, it won’t be easy to distinguish which one is which just by looking.
In this case, velvet is interlaced fabric with a loom that is different from the standard loom. It is intertwined in heaps, giving it its distinctly smooth and silky feel. Moreover, you can drape velvet easily because of its lightweight.
On the other hand, velveteen is made primarily of cotton and isn’t as easy to wear because it is denser than velvet.
Like velvet and velveteen, velour and velveteen also share similarities that confuse some people. In fact, many people tend to mix these two fabrics up.
However, one primary difference is that velour is an elastic or flexible knit with an average weight pile. Moreover, the fabric is semi-shiny because it has cut loops.
In addition, velour also resembles velvet, although it is more typically used for casual clothing. Overall, velour is smooth, stretchy and you can drape it like velvet. Moreover, this fabric is usually made from spandex or polyester. As a result, it is washable.
On the other hand, velveteen has a short pile and is stiffer than either velvet or velour. In fact, its rigid quality causes it to drop flat, which makes it more challenging to drape. However, velveteen is also somewhat stretchy as well.
Still, velveteen generally has a more matte and less shiny appearance, making it fantastic for upholstery. In addition, the finishing for velveteen is short loops being cut. Moreover, this fabric is not as malleable because it is generally woven.
What Is Velveteen - Care Tips
So, what is velveteen, and how do you care for it? Like other 100 percent cotton fabrics, velveteen needs to be pre-washed to prevent it from shrinking.
In this case, you can wash your velveteen fabric using a washing machine. However, it’s best to note that the typical recommendation is to dry clean your velveteen, so you can do that if you want to be safe.
Nevertheless, others do use a washing machine to wash velveteen, and it does work. After all, velveteen is a durable fabric. However, suppose you plan to use your machine after making a dress or outfit out of velveteen. In that case, you must pre-wash your material and dry it beforehand.
Moreover, you should note that you need to be extra careful when drying your cotton velveteen. In this case, you must never dry your fabric through line drying or hanging it on a ledge.
This is because any crease or ridge formed while you dry your velveteen will become a permanent marking on its pile.
Therefore, you will need to spread your velveteen when drying it or hang it using a padded hanger. Lastly, you can also dry it slightly using a dryer until it is only damp, then you can hang it on a hanger or lay it carefully on a flat surface to complete the drying process.
What Is Velveteen - Sewing Instructions
The next step to using velveteen is the process of preparing your velveteen to make an excellent garment or outfit. So, when you’re already at the stage of cutting your material, you need to consider the pattern of the pieces. In this case, all of them must run in one direction.
- WORKING WITH NAP - Moreover, you should note that the color of the velveteen pile will change when a single piece is cut in an opposite or different direction. Because of this, some patterns will require a different measurement, especially materials with naps.
- INCREASE YARDAGE - In this case, materials with fabric nap refer to fabrics directed in a single direction. This means there is no fancy placement or fitting of pieces, and they usually require more yardage.
- DIRECTION - With that said, to know the correct direction of your velveteen, run over the fabric length using your hand. In this case, the right direction will be silky soft, while the opposite direction will feel different. However, it’s also best to note that there can be exceptions. For example, some choose to lay their pieces using the wrong direction to achieve their desired color for their garment. Overall, what matters most is to let each piece go in a single direction.
- CAREFUL WITH PINS - Aside from this, you should also note that velveteen fabric is sensitive and can show marks when using pins. Therefore, if you’re using pins, it’s best to use sharp and fine pins during sewing. (read types of pins)
Of course, as mentioned, your machine also needs to have a fine and sharp needle to avoid leaving marks. Moreover, you should also press on the presser lightly so that you don’t destroy your pile of velveteen. With that, your velveteen is ready for sewing to become a fabulous outfit.
In this case, this is because velveteen has cut edges and is in piles, so it tends to shed more quickly. However, you can complete the edges by lining the material, using a casing, a zig-zag pattern, or serging.
What Is Velveteen - Ironing Guide
Another essential piece of information to know about velveteen fabric is how to iron it. After all, using a standard ironing approach can destroy your pile fabric beyond repair, making it lose its luxurious and smooth texture.
In this case, you can use different methods to iron the material as long as your goal is to keep its pile from getting crushed.
For example, you can use a thick padded needle board canvas. Then, you can lay the velveteen fabric over those needles with the wrong side of the fabric facing the needles to ensure it is not destroyed.
Similarly, you can also use a thick terry toweling – a method similar to the needle board. Then, when ironing the seams, you can use handy strip sticks to ensure you don’t leave marks on your fabric pile.
What Is Velveteen - Storage
Now that you have completed your velveteen garment, it’s also best to know how you need to store it. After all, improper storage can affect its appearance and structure. As mentioned earlier, any crease marks on the fabric can become permanent. So, for example, if you created a party dress, it’s best to hang it using a padded hanger. In this case, it would be best if you hung it instead of folding it.
Doing so can help keep its shape and preserve it for future occasions. Moreover, it will make it easier to use steam to make it ready for use.
What Is Velveteen - Its Advantages
With its close resemblance to velvet, velveteen can be an excellent alternative for apparel. In fact, it has numerous advantages, including the following:
- It is affordable - Velveteen is considered more affordable than traditional velvet because it’s primarily made out of cotton instead of silk. In fact, velveteen was explicitly designed for creating casual and affordable yet still elegant outfits.
- It is pliable to an extent - As mentioned, velveteen is made of cotton and silk, giving it some flexibility as well. Although it’s not as stretchy as velvet or velour, it still offers an elastic feel. In fact, this fabric can be used for clothing that needs a slight stretch.
- It is long lasting - Velveteen, compared to other similar fabrics, is generally easier to keep and preserve. Moreover, you don’t have to worry much if the fabric is damaged because it is generally less costly. Nevertheless, velveteen is overall more durable, so this isn’t too concerning.
- It is washable - Lastly, unlike velvet, velveteen is washable. In fact, you can either dry clean or use a washing machine. In contrast, you can’t wash velvet in a washing machine since doing so can destroy the fabric.
What Is Velveteen - In Conclusion
Overall, velveteen is a unique and impressive fabric. Although, the care it needs to make an excellent garment out of velveteen can sometimes scare you away from using it as a material.
However, its durability and resemblance to velvet make it an excellent choice for garments. While velvet offers a more luxurious feel, not everyone can afford it, which is why velveteen can be an excellent alternative. With that said, velveteen is generally durable, elegant, and stylish. So, if you’re looking for a suitable substitute for velvet, velveteen can be the right choice.