Distressed Velvet

I saw on Lois Erickson’s website under designer gallery, her pattern over and under, in which she had used A distressed velvet. I e-mailed her to ask her how she did it. She said she had bought the fabric and did not know how they Had distressed it. Sometime ago I bought a magazine that featured Australian artists, one of them was into distressing fabric, She said she used sandpaper, I can’t remember what else she used. Anyway the effect of the distressed velvet is lovely, and it seems to be showing up a lot in designer jackets. I am wondering how to distress it, obviously, not just continued washing surely, I would be interested in Your answer to hear if you have come across this yourself.

Dear Fran,
I really don’t know what effect you are going for. Do you want partially or randomly crushed velvet? This is easy to achieve by washing your velvet in the machine and allowing it to air dry. (10 minutes in the dryer will restore the pile.) I recommend the silk/rayon velvet for this – allow about 2″ shrinkage per yard of fabric for the washing process. If you want a pattern of crushed velvet, you can iron the velvet, pile down, over interesting textures, such as rubber stamps and other items. Give it a try. If you want a distressed color look, get a book on special effects dyeing. You may want to try the rock salt method that I mention in my column either this month or last.
Have fun and make some gorgeous stuff. In my opinion silk/rayon velvet is the empress of fabrics.

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