Sunday, August 17, 2008

Embossing Velvet: Video Instructions

I just found this instructional video for embossing velvet. Seeing things visually can make step-by-step instructions easier to follow, so take a look.

Here are a few notes I have on the video:

  1. The velvet is heavily saturated in this video. I think this amount can be fine if you are using lighter-weight velvets or velvets that already have a "crinkled" look, as the velvet used in the video does. If you are using a heavier velvet, however, this amount of water can cause shiny spots, as well as make the resulting images less crisp. Also, the more saturated the fabric, the longer you need to hold the iron to the velvet in order for it to dry - if you plan on using a stamp to make a number of impressions, there is a greater chance that you will heat any mounting adhesives, which can cause the stamp and/or mounting cushion to slip. I recommend using as little water as is necessary to cover the stamp, just to be safe.
  2. Again, I try to err on the "safe side" - I wouldn't emboss velvet (especially expensive velvet) with an iron surface with this many large steam holes. It makes it harder to control image quality.
  3. While you do want to minimize chances that the velvet could move relative to the stamp, if you have a smooth iron surface that can glide across the fabric you should be able move the iron a bit horizontally. If you are unsure, do err on the conservative side and lift the iron up each time you want to shift its placement.

I know - the video makes it seem so much quicker and easier than all that! Take my slant with a grain of salt. I approach velvet embossing as a business crafter, producing large numbers of items using different types of velvets, stamps, irons, water spritzers, etc.. I have tried to hone things so that I can get the most uniform and predictable results as possible, time and time again. In typing out instructions to pass on to others, I want to convey all the issues I've come across so that others who may do large amounts of embossing can find as much relevant information as possible. If you are simply looking for a fun afternoon project, you may decide to be a little more loose with the details. (But please, still do take a look at the safety precautions I give about some types of velvet content.)

Click here for the written instructions up on our site.


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