Skip to main content

Fabric Resource Library: Velvet, Velveteen and Velour

Velvet is a luxurious fabric with a dense, fuzzy pile. The pile is created by adding an extra set of warp and weft yards in addition to the base yarns creating that thick pile. The pile is then cut creating a nap. A nap is the direction in which the fibers run when you brush your hand over the surface. The smooth feel of a nap tends to run down your body. 

Let's take a look at the various types of velvet fabric.

Velvet (woven): A shiny, luxurious woven fabric with a short, dense nap. Woven velvets come in different weights from light drapey velvets, to more dense, mid-weights. Common contents of a woven velvet are 100% Polyester, Silk/Rayon Blend, Rayon/Acetate Blend, 100% Rayon.

Silk/Rayon blends and 100% Rayon velvets are usually lightweight and have a soft drape making the best for tops, dresses, skirts and flowy pants. 

Mid-weight woven velvets are best for blazers, full dresses, vests and accessories. 

Examples of velvet wovens

Panne Velvet: Panne velvets have a distinct, elongated crushed look. The pile is pressed in one direction and flattened. Most commonly found on woven velvets.

Panne Velvet

Stretch Velvet Knits are the knit version of a velvet. They have spandex/Lycra and can come in various weights. They are popular for tops, dresses, skirts and dancewear. 

Crushed Velvet: The pile is pressed in different directions giving it a textured look. Most commonly found in knit construction, but can also be found in wovens.

Crushed Velvet Knit

Burnout Velvets have a burnt out design on the surface of the velvet. The burned out area is sheer. Can be found on both knits and wovens. 

Burnout Velvets - These photos show woven velvets.

Velveteen is a woven fabric that is made from cotton. It has a very dense pile that has a more matte look than the other velvet types. It has a fuller drape and comes in medium to heavy weights making it best for blazers, jackets, skirts, pants and home decor. Velveteen can also have spandex/Lycra mixed with it to make the garment more comfortable. 


Velour is a more casual looking velvet. It has a soft, dry hand with a dull sheen. Napped pile with cut loops. Usually cotton or cotton/poly blend. Can be mixed with spandex/lycra. Suitable for tops, hoodie, light jacket, lounge pants, athleisure dress or skirt, loungewear, robe. 

*This velour has ribs on it. Most velours do not have a rib weave. 

Sewing with Velvet 
  • Velvet can be difficult to sew with due to the napped surface. 
  • Be sure your pattern pieces are laid out in the same direction. Because velvet has a nap, you want to make sure the nap is going in the same direction on your garment. A smooth nap tend to go down the body.
  • Velvet knits tend to curl so using pins or clips is very important! You might even want to consider hand basting depending on the project.
  • Take care when sewing on velvet. Once you stitch on it, you don't want to remove the stitches. You will have a permanent mark in the nap. 
  • Take care when pressing. Press from the wrong side. Use steam above the surface and hand press. To preserve the pile on your velvet, take a scrap of the same velvet and lay it face up. Lay your pattern piece face down on the scrap velvet and press the wrong side. 

While velvet is one of the more challenging fabrics to sew on, it can be very rewarding. You will create a beautiful, shimmery garment. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Tag us on Instagram @fabricmart and share your #fabricmartmake! 

*This post was previously created in 2012 and was updated in December 2022. 


  1. This article answered some questions I've had about sewing velvet. Very informative.


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: Luxe Viscose Rayon Wrap Dress

I've always loved long flowy dresses that skim the floor, no matter what the season is. However, particularly around the Springtime! It's been a while since I've created one but since Spring is right around the corner I'm getting the itch to add them to my wardrobe.  For this months Fabricista feature, I sharing a selection from Fabric Mart's gorgeous viscose rayon collection.  I fell in love with this beautiful viscose rayon fabric which, if you know viscose, you know it  is the perfect fabric for a flowy floor length piece. It's lightweight, yet still opaque, fluid and soft to the touch.  Also, I think viscose is just heavy enough that it's not annoyingly slippery and hard to handle as satin and silks.  Needless to say I was taken by this bold vibrant print! If you know some of my previous pieces I've made, bold and vibrant is my jam! I chose to create a rendition of my Early Spring KnowMe Pattern ME 2020. It's a wrap woven wrap dress with cargo po

Week 4: Jeansmaking- What They Made

This is it, the final round! And we certainly did not go easy on our three remaining contestants this time. This round they had to make their own pair of well fitting jeans. I think they all did an absolutely outstanding job! Take a look what these ladies accomplished & be sure to vote for your favorite! (Link at bottom of post.) And, don't forget to show us your me-made jeans on Facebook or Instagram. Details at the bottom of this post. Danesha from  Classyfied Life So first I must say that this entire challenge has been just that...a challenge! Two weeks ago there was hurricane Irma and I was blessed enough to not lose power and then I went out into the aftermath to capture some photos of my submission. Then two weeks ago I had a big trip planned so I had to do EVERYTHING  in two days . Then the BIGGEST challenge of all...THIS week! I got the challenge and I was super excited to have an extra few days and then before I could even get started I ended up in the eme

Made By A Fabricista: Let’s Make a Leather Bag

Hi Guys! I’m trying something a little different today.  We are going to make a leather bag.  I was looking around the Fabric Mart website for fabric for my next project and I came across Sue’s Pick.  The fabric choice for that day was this gorgeous black leather fabric. The best part was that the leather was only $20 a piece.  When I received it at home, I couldn’t believe how soft the leather was. I was in love. First, we are going to make the pattern and then we’ll sew it up.  You are going to need a ruler, pencil, and scissors to draft the pattern. Purse Pattern Main Pattern Piece – Cut 2 1. Make a 14 x 16 rectangle.   2. At the bottom of this pattern piece, you will cut a 2 x 2 square on each side. 3. At the top of this pattern piece, measure in 1” on each side and then measure from that point down to the corner of the cut-out square at the bottom. Cut that piece off. Pocket Piece – Cut 1 4. Make a 7 x 10 square. 5. Go in ½” at the top and go down 3” on each side. Cut th