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Sewing with velour

Pearl5 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello to everyone.  I want to sew a pair of pull-on comfy pants in velour (I think it is poly/cotton).  The clerk at the fabric store said I do not need to prewash as it will  not shrink.  Can anyone offer any info on that?  What seam finish should I use?  Any other tips would be appreciated.  I have not sewn with this fabric before.





  1. Alexandra | | #1

    Firstly, it's cotton, it WILL shrink, so prewash and dry at least once if not more times.  Use a stretch needle and as it's a stretch fabric it won't ravel so you don't need to finish the seams but you could make your pants on the serger, seam and finish the edge in one pass.  It is hard to overcast the wavy velour edge and it will add weight, bulk, and uncomfortableness to the pants.  Why bother when it is unnesessary?

  2. user-51823 | | #2

    if you don't have a serger, just use a zigzag stitch. rule of thumb- i always prewash any fabric that i intend to wash after garment is made.

    1. Alice in Atlanta | | #10

      Thanks to all you others who responded to her message.  I have something else to add. 

      My late daughter bought two yummy, plush robes, ...one for me and one for herself.  It has a long separating zipper, big pockets and a hood.  I loved it and wore it almost all day long during the long, cold winter days.  The instructions were to wash in cold water and hang to dry.  If you don't follow these instructions to the letter you will have melted this fabric because it's made from recycled plastic.  

      While cleaning out her closet just after she died I found her robe.  It was thin and not the nice fluffy robe it had been and certainly not like mine anymore.  You see, I would hang mine out on a clothes line and she would put hers in her dryer.  So, please do yourself a big favor and read how to launder your fabric and do just as the instructions tell.  Hope this helps so you won't waste your time sewing something you love only to have it ruined later because you didn't read the washing instructions.

      1. Pearl5 | | #11

        I appreciate all the information on sewing with velour.  Ordinarily, I would follow the instructions on the fabric bolt, but the velour was on a Specials Table ($7.55/yd) without any particulars.  I have made too many "wadders" in the past year to jump into unfamiliar territory.  Of course, that has not kept me from purchasing lots of fabric and patterns.  Recently, I have used some judgment and purchased fabric from the reputable on-line stores!  Now those fabrics are too beautiful and too expensive to bungle.  Its time for more sewing classes for me.  This is a hobby???obsession??? Anyway, its fun and keeps me entertained.

        Thanks again!




  3. lovestosew | | #3

    Hi Pearl,
    I agree with the other ladies - please pre-wash your fabric before you start your project. That way, no nasty surprises in the washing machine.... (voice of experience - don't ask me what happened). You might want to borrow a book called Fabric Savvy (by Sandra Betzina) from your public library. That book has great tips on pretreating & sewing many types of fabric. Good luck with your project.

    1. Pearl5 | | #4

      Thanks for all the helpful responses.  I had a nagging feeling about that pre-washing.  Never proceed when red flag is up!  For clarification, is it advisable to make the pants on the serger?  I'm not sure if that adds the weight, bulk, etc.  

      I found the book at the library and its very good.



      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #5

        Yes, would advise use of serger on velour, especially for comfy pants.


        1. Pearl5 | | #6

          Thanks for your response.  Can I use good quality serger thread?  Sandra B. recommends wooly nylon but I don't want to try and track that down if its not necessary. 



          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #7

            Should work fine,  I have some little adapters that allow me to use regular spools of thread. Very handy if the color of cloth is out of the ordinary.


  4. Teaf5 | | #8

    I agree with the others--prewash & dry!  Always!  I made a workout suit of stretchy velour using a conventional, simple machine, and it worked out fine. 

    Use a short, narrow zigzag if you don't have a stretch stitch, and don't worry about finishing the seam allowances--just trim them to 1/4". 

    On a conventional machine, you'll want to lighten the pressure foot tension too, so that it doesn't stretch out the seams as you stitch.  Have fun--it's very forgiving fabric!

    1. Josefly | | #12

      Thank you so much for your tips on sewing this fabric with a conventional machine. Now I'll be willing to try the velour. Have you had equal success with slinky knits and conventional machine?

      1. Teaf5 | | #13

        My conventional machine is so old that the manual proclaims that it "is not designed to work with the modern synthetic fabrics," but it is so adjustable that I have sewn everything from mesh, chiffons, georgettes, bulky sweaterknits, leather, vinyl, tent fabric, heavyduty mesh strapping, fur (real & artificial) as well as slinky knits on it.

        Each time I sew something new and different, I use a healthy-sized sample, doubled, to try out needles, threads, pressure foot, thread, & bobbin tensions as well as stitching across & with the stretch, on the bias, etc.  It doesn't take very long if I start with the recommended combinations and systematically change things.  If it's complicated, I'll use masking tape labels to identify the different settings/needle of each line of stitching so that I can replicate it if it turns out to be the best.

        With slinky knits, I use a very small needle (and sometimes sharps work better than ballpoint), a short stitch with a tiny bit of zigzag in it, and try to keep the fabric from stretching and drooping in front or in back of where I'm stitching.  To this end, I'll roll up towels or drape a sheet over some cardboard so that most of the garment piece is supported while stitching, then I'll use my fingers rather than the presser foot/feed dogs to slide the fabric through.

        A very helpful thread on this forum dealt  with "sewing with slinky knits."  Try a search with those words, and you'll find a wealth of information!

        1. Josefly | | #14

          Thank you, I'll do the search.

  5. mrsdwight | | #9

    I have always prewashed, too. As much for shrinkage as to remove any finishes that could "gum" up my needle or change the drape of the fabric. Also, I always assume the color will bleed until it proves otherwise.

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