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Tag Archives: Velvet

How to Iron Velvet – sorta

OK. I have no pictures for this one, but I have some advice on wrinkles and velvet.

I have this large piece of velvet that’s been sitting around, in a box, folded and super wrinkled. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this velvet, but it was destined for something good. So when I finally decided what I was going to use it on (coming later), I had to figure out if I could get out the horrible wrinkles.

OK, I lied.  This post has one picture. Here is a picture of a chair I reupholstered with this same velvet (before I knew how to get rid of wrinkles).  IMG_0090

Apparently, one is not really supposed to iron velvet because it will RUIN IT! So here is my PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Every velvet may be different, so you MUST TEST THIS PROCESS ON AN EDGE OR SMALL SCRAP OF VELVET. Do not – do NOT – dive right in on the middle of an expensive piece of velvet – it might get ruined. So always test this.  Got it? Test on a scrap first.

First, I spread the velvet out on the carpet. I wanted to work on a carpet, because it’s softer than an ironing board and would reduce the risk that I would crush the nap of the velvet.

Second, I folded the velvet over on top of itself. The bottom layer was facing up, and the top layer was facing down (good side to good side, nap to nap).  Set the iron on the coolest setting that produces steam. Very lightly – barely putting any pressure on the fabric, run the iron lightly over the BACKSIDE (the side should be facing up) to get the wrinkles out.

Third, turn the velvet right side up. This step is just for problem areas because it could damage the fabric if you are not very careful. Do NOT touch the velvet nap with the iron at all – it will ruin it. Hold the iron just above the surface of the velvet, close enough so that the steam is hitting the nap, but the iron is not touching. After an area is steamed, let cool for a bit so that it’s not going to burn your hands, and then use your hands to smooth the nap and smooth out the wrinkles.

You may have to repeat these steps a few times. The key is patience so you don’t ruin your expensive velvet. But after a few goes, the fabric should be looking much better. Now, when you do your upholstery job, the wrinkles will smooth themselves out with enough stretching and time.

I cannot wait to share my next project with you.



How to Upholster a Blue Velvet Chair

How to Upholster a Blue Velvet Chair

Some of you may remember this chair that I found at a garage sale for only $10! (If you recall, I turned into a cartoon wolf and my tongue rolled out of my jaw like a carpet unrolling, and I had to use my hand to roll my tongue back up and then to shut my jaw. The metaphor was maybe a tad long, but what are you gonna do?)

Here is the chair again.

The guy I bought it from had already removed the previous upholstery and had started putting on some new upholstery but hadn’t gotten very far. Something amazing about this chair (I mean, besides the fact that it’s beautiful and everything)? The padding is actually HORSE hair! That’s how you know for sure that it’s an antique. It’s maybe a little gross, but it also means that this chair is pretty darned old. And I’m going to pretend like the horse hair was washed and stuff before they used it for the chair. Don’t tell me otherwise.

Here is what I turned it into:

Some of my readers may also remember that I am SUPER into blue velvet. I was visiting my ‘rents in the Bay Area, and my friend, Molly, and I were driving from San Francisco back to the East Bay when I saw a discount fabric store that was having a sale. Though Molly and I were supposed to meet a friend for lunch in like 15 minutes, I flipped a U-turn last second (ignoring Molly’s screaming protests that we did not have time). As I parked the car (while Molly kept asking, “Rachel, are you serious?!?”) I told Molly that I would be in and out in 10 minutes. Max. I just needed some blue velvet. Real quick. Just a blue velvet fix and I’ll be damned if you stand in my way, Hussie!!! Just a yard. Or seven.

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A dream come true. AKA – How to Upholster a Blue Velvet Ottoman

A dream come true. AKA – How to Upholster a Blue Velvet Ottoman

It’s ALIVE! I finished my first *real* upholstery project, and it’s BLUE VELVET!! In case you forgot, I am OBSESSED with blue velvet. And now I have my very own piece of blue velvet furniture, and I made it myself.


Here the ottoman is picture with this awesome reclining wingback chair that I got for just $40 on craigslist. The chair is in perfect condition, minus on tiny rip in the upholstery that I sewed up. Anyway, this recliner was a pretty easy project. Read more to find out.

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She Dreams of Blue Velvet…

She Dreams of Blue Velvet…

It’s official, I am OBSESSED with the idea of getting some amazing piece of furniture in blue velvet.  Blue velvet is regal, calming, luxurious, daring, potentially unique and altogether, fabulous. The velvet can be blue, teal, turqouise, aqua – so long as the color is deep and saturated, it looks amazing.

Unfortunately, most things in blue velvet tend to be pretty expensive. Once I move into my new apartment, I am going to be on the lookout for a great piece of furniture to reupholster that would look lovely in blue velvet. Well, I will probably have to reupholster in blue velveteen or blue velour, since velvet in the color I want is about $40/yard – and that’s cheap for velvet. Even the velvet knock offs are hard to find for less than $10/yard. Maybe I will score some wonderful fabric in Paris! Fingers crossed! (If anyone out there knows of a great discount velvet place, please let me know!).

Anyway, in my blue velvet obsession, I have come across some pieces that I just love, and wanted to share. I plan on doing my living room in the new apartment in white and blues, and fortunately, blue velvet would fit right in.

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