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Velvet

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  • Prane Evans
    Hi to all the newcomers - welcome to the zoo. =) Actually you can wash certain velvets. I would think if you re going to use this devore process on it - you d
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 7, 2002
      Hi to all the newcomers - welcome to the zoo. =)
      Actually you can wash certain velvets. I would think
      if you're going to use this devore process on it -
      you'd have to wash the velvet first to remove any
      starch or sizing in the material.
      If you want to know if a fabric is washable - get
      yourself a 6 inch square piece of it - preferably with
      a selvage edge on one side. You want to be able to
      tell the warp threads from the woof threads after it's
      washed. Lay the piece of material down on a sheet of
      notebook paper and careful trace around it - marking
      on the paper which side is the selvage edge or the
      warp. Then throw your piece of velvet into the
      washer. It's a good idea to put it in a lingerie bag
      so it doesn't get sucked out with the rinse water. If
      you want to wash it - I'd use something like Woolite.
      You don't want any strong detergents or anything with
      bleach in it. If you have a delicate cycle on your
      dryer - then dry the piece of velvet. If not - set
      your dryer on its lowest setting and keep checking on
      the velvet to make sure when it's just dry. Take it
      out promptly. Unless your velvet is all natural - too
      hot a dryer will damage the fiber.
      Take the washed/dryed square of velvet back to the
      piece of notebook paper and line up one corner on the
      selvage edge. You'll be able to tell if the fabric
      has shrunk and if so in which direction - warp or
      woof. Also by comparing your washed piece with a
      non-washed piece you'll be able to see how color fast
      the velvet is.
      The proceeding can be used for any kind of material.
      What you're checking for is shrinkage, direction of
      shrinkage, and color fastness.
      As for finding out what fibers your velvet is made
      out of. You do a burn test. Most fabric stores don't
      know what their fabric is made out of, and even if
      they do it doesn't hurt to doublecheck.
      To check your velvet you need to get some pile fibers
      separate from some of the backing fabric. (Do your
      burn test over or in a large sink or bathtub. And NO
      WHERE near anything flamable. If you have long hair -
      pull it back in a ponytail.) You can use a candle. A
      little votive candle will work just fine. And get
      yourself an old pair of tweezers - you do not want to
      be trying to hold onto a small bunch of fibers while
      they're burning. Synthetic fibers burn in a different
      way from natural fibers. Most synthetics - polyester,
      acetate, nylon and the like will burn and melt with a
      distinctive scent. The naturals - cotton, linen and
      rayon will burn and leave a fine ash and tend to smell
      like burning paper. Silk burns with a distinctive
      faint burning hair smell because it's an organic
      fiber. (Wool is the stuff that really smells like
      burning hair - yuck.) It's been several years since I
      took Textiles in college and I've forgotten what kind
      of ash - silk leaves. (Brief pause - just went into
      bedroom and found my old Textiles textbook.) Silk
      burns as follows - "smolders approaching flame", "in
      the flame it burns, melts slowly and sputters",
      "removed from the flame it supports combustion with
      difficulty; ceases flaming", "it's odor is like
      burning feathers or hair, but less pronounced then
      wool", and "its ash is round, crisp, shiny black
      beads; easily crushed." The proceeding was taken from
      "Textiles: Fiber to Fabric" the fourth edition by
      Potter and Corbman.
      Okay, the following is a brief list of burning
      synthetic fiber scents - again taken from
      "Textiles:Fiber to Fabric."
      Acetate - "like vinegar"
      Acrylics - "some like burning meat, some with a sharp
      sweet smell, and some like tumeric."
      Nylon - "somewhat like celery"
      Polyesters - "Dacron is slightly sweetish", "Kodel is
      like faintly burning pine tar"
      Rayons - "tend to smell like burning paper"
      Okay, my textbook is old - 1967, so there probably
      are fibers and fabric finishes that I don't know about
      and that may and will change what a fiber burns like
      and how it smells. But the above should give you a
      general idea.
      I hope that was of some assistance and not too
      confusing.
      Cheers,
      Fran






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    • Carolyn Kayta Barrows
      ... Woolite is nasty stuff, and actually very harsh. Cheap baby shampoo is better. (A VietNamese woman told me there are no dry cleaners in VietNam, so she
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 8, 2002
        >If
        >you want to wash it - I'd use something like Woolite.
        >You don't want any strong detergents or anything with
        >bleach in it.

        Woolite is nasty stuff, and actually very harsh. Cheap baby shampoo is
        better. (A VietNamese woman told me there are no dry cleaners in VietNam,
        so she always used cheap baby shampoo, with great success.)


        Kayta
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