Saturday, September 4, 2010

Embossed Velvet.

A favorite technique of mine and Dale's is embossing Rae's hand dyed silk velvet using a metallic paint, usually Lumiere by Jacquard or Opulants by KraftKolour. You can use any acrylic paint for this technique. Jo Sonja is fine, so is any artist quality acrylic paint. I prefer a metallic for this because it is well matched to velvet. The look mimics time- aged icons.
Usually embossing velvet is done with a steam iron and just water. It presses the pile down but is not permanent. Using a paint or clear gel medium makes the embossing permanent. The paint acts as a permanent glue. The pin pictured above is a square of silk/viscose velvet, embossed using Halo Pink Gold Lumiere paint and a special polymer stamp from the Thread Studio.

Not all stamps work. Unfortunately wood blocks and rubber stamps wont work. They keep the paint and it wont transfer to the velvet. The stamps we use are good quality, deeply etched. They don't melt under the heat of an iron. I can't vouch for any other brands- sorry. I've tried cheap ones and they distort or melt. I just know that the stamps commissioned by The Thread Studio don't melt, distort and release the paint.
You don't need to have silk velvet or hand dyed for this either. Cotton and synthetic velvet will work too. Remember to use a lower heat setting for synthetic or you can melt the fabric.

First Step requires paint, paint brush, silver foil or palette, velvet, stamp, hot iron and a wooden board. Do not do this on an ironing board or soft surface- it wont work.

Paint the silver foil or palette with your paint, don't have it gloopy or sloppy, the paint will seep into the stamp crevices if you do and spoil the print.
Press your stamp onto the paint surface, turn it over checking that the stamp has paint on it.

Place your stamp paint side up on the board.
Lay velvet pile side down onto the stamp and gently press with hand.

Place iron directly on stamp covered with velvet and press, moving the iron in circular motion. Weird as it sounds, you will know when it is done when you can see the details of the stamp through the back of the velvet. Really ! Make sure you look for that before you peel the stamp off.
Carefully peel the stamp off the velvet, folding the velvet seems to help. Try to pull it away with the direction the pile has been pressed rather than against it.

That's pretty much it.
Points of importance-
1. Any velvet will do
2. Only polymer stamps work
3. it only irons on a hard surface ( no ironing board)
4. Do not, I repeat do not ever, ever, ever apply paint directly to the stamp using a paint brush- ever. It will ruin the image. And the stamp eventually.

Try using more than one colour of paint on the stamp.
Oh and, I would appreciate direct links to the instructions rather than copying. Go ahead and share though.


  1. isn't that a beautiful stamp - if I may say so. You say it so much better than I do

  2. It's your best ever- so far, looking forward to the new seasons!

  3. Wow what a great idea! The gold paint looks wonderful on that dark velvet...

  4. LOVED this technique so much that my friend and I tried it out on a playday with great success :-) Have also blogged about your BEAUTIFUL embossed velvet book post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That looks incredible, I have a couple of questions for you though.
    1. Are the scarves washable?
    2. Is the stamp soft or stiff, and if it is stiff is there a way to make it soft?

  6. Excuse me, I should clarify. Is the stamp on the velvet soft or stiff?

  7. Can you use polymer stamps used in papercrafts/scrapbooking/cardmaking? I have several of the kind that you can mount onto a clear acrylic block and peel off again for storage. I would love to be able to use them for this! :)