Ironing Silk Velvet: My Step-by-Step Guide for Smooth Fabric

I absolutely love the luxurious look and feel of silk velvet, but keeping the fabric wrinkle-free can be a challenge.

Through trial and error over the years, I’ve learned the proper techniques for ironing silk velvet at home without damaging the delicate material.

Follow my step-by-step guide to achieve beautifully smooth silk velvet every time.

premium silk velvet texture

Why Proper Ironing is Crucial for Silk Velvet

Silk velvet has a stunning textured appearance, with a soft and rich piled surface.

But being made from delicate silk threads, the fabric can become permanently marked if you press it at the wrong temperature or scrub at wrinkles carelessly.

Proper ironing keeps your silk velvet garments, curtains, table linens, and upholstered furniture looking fabulous.

My tips will help you safely remove wrinkles without crushing the pile or leaving shine marks. 

Your luxurious silk velvet items will maintain their lovely draped appearance and inviting texture.

Gather the Right Silk Velvet Ironing Tools

Successful silk velvet ironing relies on having the proper tools:

  • Iron with adjustable heat settings: Pick one that allows you to set a precise low temperature of around 250-275°F. I use the Electrolux Professional Steam Iron (link to Amazon).
  • Silk velvet ironing pad: The thick padding helps prevent impressions from seams and details. My favorite is the Bearaby ironing blanket.
  • Spray bottle for misting: Use filtered or distilled water to prevent mineral deposits. This helps release wrinkles.

These specific supplies protect delicate silk velvet from scorching and damage during pressing.

cotton press cloth technique for silk

Pre-Ironing Tips for Silk Velvet

Before breaking out your ironing tools, follow my pre-ironing steps for silk velvet:

  • Clean the item first: Gently remove dirt and oils that can leave permanent stains if heated in. I recommend dry cleaning. For spot cleaning, use cold water and a silk-safe cleaner.
  • Let silk velvet air dry: Iron when slightly damp from cleaning or a light misting. Avoid ironing bone dry velvet that can singe easily.
  • Do a heat test: Press a hidden corner of the garment or fabric sample inside a seam allowance with your heated iron for 5 seconds before ironing larger areas.

Step-by-Step Ironing Techniques for Silk Velvet

Ready to tackle your silk velvet ironing project? Follow these guidelines I’ve refined over the years:

Adjust Iron Temperature Correctly

  • Set your iron to the silk/synthetic setting, or in the 270°-300° range if you have a dial option for precision heat control. Take note of the temperatures I recommend here for easy reference:
iron adjusted for silk fabric
Light-colored silk velvet250° degrees
Dark-colored silk velvet275° degrees
Silk velvet with embellishments240° degrees
  • Allow the iron to fully heat up at the appropriate temperature before proceeding.

Use a Pressing Cloth

  • Place a smooth cotton cloth over the silk velvet item before ironing. I prefer tightly woven, white quilting cloths.
  • The heat passes through the cotton fibers without damaging the silk velvet. The cloth also prevents any velvet pile from sticking to the hot iron.

Work in Sections

  • Never randomly iron a silk velvet piece! Process it carefully section by section using these steps:
    1. Mist the silk velvet area lightly until slightly damp.
    2. Place cotton pressing cloth over the top.
    3. Using the iron at the appropriate setting, press down in a circular motion for 3-5 seconds, letting the heat penetrate layers.
    4. Lift and proceed to an adjacent section, overlapping just a bit to tackle creases.
cotton cloth aided silk ironing tips

Be Extra Cautious on Seams and Embellishments

  • Go slowly over seams and avoid any direct contact between thick areas like buttons or sequins and the hot iron. The seams highlight any mistakes!
  • For heavier wrinkling along seams or edges:
    1. Fill a spray bottle with water and a tiny bit of hair conditioner diluted in it.
    2. Lightly mist the affected area – don’t oversaturate silk velvet.
    3. Place the cotton cloth on top.
    4. Hold the iron a half inch above the area. The rising steam penetrates wrinkles.
    5. Once the area is nearly dry, follow the regular pressing method.

Alternative Pressing Methods for Silk Velvet

While the iron is my go-to for most wrinkle removal, silk velvet can also be effectively smoothed using:

Garment Steamer

Use the vertical steaming method only. Never allow the nozzle to touch velvet, as the heat melts silk instantly!

Drape sections of the garment or fabric over a shower rod or clothes rack and steam 6 inches away using long back-and-forth motions. The steam relaxes wrinkles beautifully.

Shower and Gravity Method

For stubborn wrinkles and no specialty tools on hand, hang garments in a steaming hot shower.

Avoid direct water spray. As they cool, gently pull and smooth to realign the fibers. Gravity also removes light wrinkling as velvet hangs vertically for a while.

Try this trick on your silk velvet evening gown before a formal event!

I experimented to discover how to iron silk polyester blends safely, and the results have been fantastic.

shower hanging for silk smoothing

Special Care Needs for Silk Velvet Items

I’ll share my top tips for properly ironing specific silk velvet garments and homewares:

Dresses and Evening Gowns

Read any included garment care instructions first. Many delicate dresses recommend dry cleaning only – especially embellished gowns.

For those labeled safe for home pressing, lay dress pieces flat and fully button or zip before ironing.

Take care around trim, sequins, or beadwork. Refresh dress shape after ironing using the shower steam method.


Iron lined curtains inside out so the heat contacts the lining rather than the velvet. Unlined curtains can be pressed directly on the front using my steps above.

For curtain panels wider than your ironing board, use a large table or clear floor space. Drape wrinkled sections over an ironing blanket then press small areas at a time.

plush silk velvet material

Table Linens

Iron velvet tablecloths and runners before placing them on the table or folding them for storage.

Apply pressure from the underside for the least pile disturbance. Use light strokes to avoid damaging the fibers.

Caring for Silk Velvet After Pressing

Post-ironing care is also essential for keeping silk velvet wrinkle-free and lustrous:

  • Allow ironed pieces to fully cool before handling to prevent new wrinkles from forming.
  • For garments, sew in mesh underwear or pads before hanging to absorb oils and perspiration stains over time.
  • Pad out the shoulders of coats and capes with tissue paper to retain shape.
  • Store in a breathable garment bag or archival box, not a plastic container causing moisture.

Can You Iron Silk Velvet Inside Out?

Yes, ironing the reverse side of silk velvet is safe.

In fact, for velvet with embroidery or embellishments, pressing the fabric inside out helps protect decorative elements from the iron’s heat.

Just be sure to still use a low-temperature setting and cloth layer.

rich silk velvet upholstery fabric

How Do I Iron Velvet Ribbons or Trim?

Use a tailored sleeve board for easier handling. Cover the trim with a cotton cloth. Gently glide your iron across the length of the velvet ribbon without pausing in one spot too long. 

The narrow sleeve board prevents impressions from seams or edges.

Is Steaming Better Than Ironing Silk Velvet?

While steaming is an alternative for removing wrinkles, ironing is still best for setting pleats and shape retention.

The direct downward pressure of an iron smooths the pile evenly.

Follow up with a garment steamer if needed to refresh the drape. Use both methods to prep silk velvet garments or upholstery long-term.

Can I Vacuum Silk Velvet Curtains to Remove Wrinkles?

You can attempt minor wrinkle removal between deeper cleanings by vacuuming lined velvet curtains with a brush attachment on low suction power.

Avoid using the vacuum method on unlined drapes as this can permanently crush the fabric’s delicate pile.

Only use this approach for quick touch-ups, not as the primary wrinkle removal technique.

How Can I Iron Around Silk Velvet Buttons Without Damaging Them?

Use a press cloth and iron the area around (but not directly on) the buttons very carefully. 

Avoid prolonged, direct contact with velvet buttons from the iron as the heat and pressure can distort their shape. 

If possible, remove decorative buttons prior to ironing and re-sew them on afterward.

What Temperature Should I Wash Silk Velvet Before Ironing?

Handwash or dry clean silk velvet garments in cool water at or below 20°C/68°F before ironing. Hot water can shrink or damage silk fibers over time.

When pressing damp velvet as part of pre-ironing prep, the optimal water temperature is 18-21°C/65-70°F. Avoid both scalding hot and icy cold water. Use lukewarm for best results.

My tips on how to gently iron silk chiffon could help you keep those delicate pieces in pristine condition.

silk velvet fabric luxurious

You Can Do This!

While ironing silk velvet takes a gentle approach and precision, the methods I’ve shared will allow you to achieve smooth, rejuvenated fabric without damage.

Just remember to always use an adjustable heat iron at the proper low setting, work section by section with a protective cloth, and handle your foral velvet delicately.

With some practice following my guide, you’ll get the hang of silk velvet care.

Before you know it, you’ll have sumptuously wrinkle-free drapes, formalwear, and upholstery with the eye-catching shimmery texture restored.

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