Machine Embroidery on Velvet

There is little doubt about the exclusiveness and elegance of velvet fabric. However, the super silky and luxurious fabric does have its downsides, especially when it comes to machine embroidery. The fabric is infamous in the embroidery industry for the complexity involved in doing machine embroidery on the fabric. Like with all other stretchy fabrics, machine embroidery on velvet is a challenge since the fabric can easily damage. Also, the stretchy character of the fabric, makes it complicated to keep up with the integrity of the design. Nonetheless, the efforts that go into machine embroidery on velvet are worth it, since the outcome is an almost lavish and majestic appeal and flawless style.

If you, too, are interested in learning about machine embroidery on velvet, read on. Below we will be sharing some easy-to-follow tips and tricks to help you achieve great results for your embroidery designs on velvet fabric.

Why Embroider on Velvet?

Honestly, there are tons of reasons why you may want to embroider on velvet. Some of the most common machine embroideries on velvet uses include:


For millennia, velvet has fascinated humans with its stunning drape and luxurious sheen, which is also why the fabric is almost always used in the peasant style. Globally, fashion brands prefer to embroider velvet apparel along the sleeves or around the neckline to create an exotic and bohemian look.

The drape and warmth of velvet make it an ideal fabric to be used for shawls or as warming wraps. Women love to wrap around silky, smooth, and embroidered velvet shawls that not only protect them from harsh weather but add elegance and beauty to their style.


Velvet isn’t only used to create lavish apparel, but is also frequently used to manufacture elegant accessories. One of the most popular velvet fabric accessories is the in-the-hoop necklace which is often manufactured using black velvet. Adding intricate machine embroidery designs on the necklace just makes it the perfect luxurious accessory for all occasions.

Velvet is also widely used to manufacture exotic clutches. Rather, it’s super easy to create your unique velvet-wrapped clutch with intricate embroidery details. Just buy a clutch frame, get machine embroidery on velvet done, and start putting it up over the frame – hurrah! You got your very own, unique and fashion-forward velvet-wrapped clutch.

Home Decor

Apart from being used in apparel and accessories manufacturing, velvet is also excessively used in home décor. People in the USA just love to decorate their home interior with velvet curtains and bed skirts. Not to forget, the stunning machine embroidered velvet pillow and seat cover simply add a touch of elegance and charm to your overall home décor.

Sewing On Velvet

Just like machine embroidery, sewing on velvet is a tiring and complex task but the final looks are simply mesmerizing.

Back in the day, it was common for ladies of the house to sew exquisite designs on velvet for home décor and accessories. It wasn’t easy to sew together two pieces of velvet, where one layer tends to slip around on top of the other layer; thanks to the silky texture and stunning sheen of the fabric. Also, while you are sewing on velvet, there is little to no room for mistakes. Since it’s a delicate fabric, any mistake will leave permanently visible holes.

Nonetheless, the practice has been discontinued greatly today, mainly due to mass-scale machine embroidery on velvet, which had made the entire process easier and more efficient.

Purchasing Velvet

Velvet is one of the most famous fabrics around the world. This means you won’t be having much trouble sourcing the fabric anywhere. Almost all fabric stores will have at least some variety of fabric; however, you need to have the right experience to determine the quality of the fabric.

Back in the day, velvet was purely made from silk. Since silk was and is still today an expensive fabric, the use of velvet was restricted to nobles and royalty. Today, most of the velvet you will find on market is made synthetically, which has greatly reduced the price of the fabric and made it accessible to the masses. Some of the more popular varieties of velvet include;

  • Upholstery velvet
  • Stretch velvet
  • Rayon/silk blend velvet
  • 100% polyester velvet 

Machine Embroidery on Velvet

Well, now that we are done with the brief introduction, uses and sourcing of the fabric, let’s quickly move on and learn some tips and techniques to master the art of machine embroidery on velvet fabric.

Design selection

First and foremost, the consideration for machine embroidery on velvet is to finalize the artwork/design. The key here is to only choose designs with low to medium density, which works best with the silky fabric. As a comparatively delicate fabric, heavy designs with higher stitches don’t deliver great results on velvet and thereby should be avoided. Also, make sure you start with a fresh and sharp embroidery needle to avoid any holes in the fabric and ensure maximum efficiency for the embroidery process.


To be brutally honest, you should never even try to hoop velvet fabric. Any effort to hoop velvet will invariably result in hoop burn. In hoop burn, the fabric is crushed due to the excessive pressure on the fabric’s raised nap. Unfortunately, there is no going back for hoop burn in velvet, since the only way to remove hoop burn is by washing the fabric and in the case of velvet, the fabric is mostly non-washable. Thereby, you should never try to use a hoop with the velvet fabric to avoid losing the fabric to hoop burn.

The other way around in the case of velvet fabric is to hoop the stabilizer instead. For best results, use a cutaway stabilizer, since it works best with stretchy fabrics like velvet. Alternatively, a tearaway stabilizer won’t work great, as it won’t be able to support the design by not being able to control the stretchiness of the fabric.


Now that we are passed the hooping complexity, the next is to apply topping. Ideally, before you begin with machine embroidery over velvet, you should place a water-solution stabilizer on the fabric. This will stop threads to sink into the nap, which may distort the embroidered design.

Once the embroidery process is completed, you would need to remove the topping. However, avoid using water; instead, tear off as much topping as possible. Use tweezers to remove any leftover topping. Remember, any contact with water may damage the velvet fabric, thereby, make sure to keep the fabric safe from water.