velvet for making flowers

Velvet fabrics for making flowers

Velvet fabrics for making flowers

Velvet is a luxurious versatile fabric that is used a lot in flower making. Whether you choose to make certain parts of a flower from it or a whole piece, it is good to know which velvet to choose when and why.

velvet pansy tutorial
Velvet Pansy Tutorial

As autumn draws nearer I want to talk about velvet for making flowers. Velvet flowers are great for autumn-winter season and make perfect trims for felt hats too.
Since velvet was introduced for the first time in the Middle East back in 9th century it has always been associated with luxury, nobility, royalty. And indeed it was so expensive in the past that only wealthy people could afford it.

So what is velvet?
Velvet is a kind of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are distributed in an even manner in a short dense pile thus giving a very soft and smooth feel. Traditionally velvet was made using silk. Nowadays velvet is made from cotton, linen, mohair and wool along with silk. Lately, synthetic velvets too are being produced.

velvet gladiolus flower 2In flower making we are only interested in velvets made using natural fibers like silk, viscose or cotton. These fabrics dye well with Procion and other silk dyes and can be shaped with millinery tools.
Velvet is perfect for making leaves (with the use of our Realistic Fabric leaves tutorial ), but whole flowers can be created out of it too. Think roses, pansies, gladioli, daffodils, orchids, camellias and many others.
Very often velvet is used for making flower centres or even for wrapping stems (as we did in CAMELLIA JAPONICA video tutorial)
Most of the techniques for working with velvet are very similar to other fabrics but there are some tricks and nuances that make velvet a little bit more delicate to deal with.
First is colouring. Because of its heavy weight, thickness and pile velvet absorbs a lot of water when being dyed. When left to dry on paper it will also lose a lot of water together with the dye. To achieve a brighter colour with velvet I always recommend drying flower parts on non porous surfaces like glass or plastic.
velvet fantasy flower 4Velvet is always dyed from the right side. Try to be gentle with your brush strokes not to mess up the pile too much.
As you can imagine velvet dries quite slowly too, especially on a non porous surface.
Another thing that can be tricky is shaping.
When shaping velvet take your time and do it slowly, letting the hot tool warm the thick fabric through and mould it into shape.
In most cases velvet flower parts are backed with a thin layer of fabric.
Because velvet has such a gorgeous sophisticated finish I like using lame fabrics for backing to add an extra touch.
Velvet can be backed with satin too.
Like all other fabrics velvet needs to be stiffened before it can be used for making flowers. A while ago I have already described one way velvet can be stiffened (please check out this post to find out how).

cotton velvet


The type of velvet I commonly use in my works is made of cotton and has a very short pile.

It dyes well and is easy to work with.
I have a limited quantity of fat quarters of this velvet  as well as different velveteen fabrics currently available in my shop, so if you’d like to try it in your designs, make sure you get one now.
Ah, and the best bit is that this velvet comes prestiffened. It means it is ready to be used either for leaves, petals or a complete flower. To buy a velvet fat quarter please use the button below


press here to purchase velvet fabric


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velvet pansy workshop

Secret Santa gift exchange

This year first time ever I am taking part in Secret Santa gift exchange. To add more excitement to it the exchange allows only hand crafted presents! Over 40 artists across Europe are participating. I have prepared a gift for a girl from Estonia. We did state our preferences in terms of colour, type of craft or item we would prefer to receive. My addressee was very easy going and said that she would be pleased to get any nice handmade gift.
It goes without saying that I have whizzed a flower piece for her. Here is a sneaky peek into my Secret Santa project.

velvet pansies 3 (1280x976)


Obviously as it is a secret I can not reveal it just yet, but I am sure you will be able to guess the flowers I have made for it. I have used velvet, that I’d painted by hand and doubled with very thin silk.


velvet pansies2 (1280x939)

I have posted it today and after the addressee has received and announced it I will be able to reveal the whole piece to you.
I could have stopped my post right here if not one little thing: the postman has just delivered my gift from Secret Santa! And you won’t believe it, it is from the same girl that I have made a gift for! It is by some incredible coincidence that out of 40+ people we have chosen each other for this gift exchange 🙂 So much more exciting!
Well, I will be a nice girl and not open mine until Christmas.

P.S. In case you wonder I did include some nice chocolates together with my flower piece. Christmas should me magical and sweet! ♥ ♥ ♥