Velvet Pressing Pad

The lovely Mandy of yesterday’s blog post texted me recently. ‘I’m at a car boot sale. There’s a velvet pressing pad. Do you want it?’ Want it? Yes, please! Today she handed it over. Isn’t it intriguing?

You use this when pressing velvet, so as to avoid crushing the pile with the weight of your iron. I believe you place the velvet right side face down on the needles, and press the wrong side. Correct?

This looks to me as though it’s been ripped off a press arm – what do you reckon?

The handover took place because our family met up for afternoon tea in a central London hotel. Everything was very yummy and pretty.

This was my first time in central London since the Olympics officially started and, oh my goodness, do you know that the games are on! Helicopters, coaches, cabs, more coaches, police men, army sergeants, Olympic staff, flags, tourists. This is one busy – and highly organised – city right now.

Did you watch the opening ceremony? Did you enjoy it? I was enchanted, I have to say – and screamed when James Bond appeared on screen. I was a minority Brit sat round the telly with a group of Americans, which made it even more culturally interesting to watch. They had a lot to say about the NHS sequence!

Danny Boyle, national hero and creative genius.

Crocheting My Way Home

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17 Responses to Velvet Pressing Pad

  1. And you told me there were no good garage sales in the UK ! Is a car boot sale the miniature version of our garage sale? A velvet pressing board – what a great find. I did a post 2 years ago on how to use it and got lots of interest. It is a hard to find and not very well known item. So lucky you. Here is the link: http://sunnygalstudio.blogspot.com/2010/12/special-handling-notes-corduroy-and.html
    It is a super useful item – not just for velvet. P.S. I did enjoy the opening ceremony, except for the creepy baby.

    • Ooh, thank you! Yes, there were certainly some bizarre moments in the ceremony, but I think that made me love it even more. It was storytelling, and I love me a story.

    • Hi Beth! Car boot sales are a bigger version of a garage sale. Many people get together organised in a field or car park – sometimes 100’s of cars! There are lots organised by schools, or local councils too, they usually charge the sellers a fee, and buyers are free to get in normally. And they get out temporary tables (e.g. wall-paper pasting folding tables) to sell their unwanted second hand stuff from home. Often there will be food sellers, and ice cream vans on site too. It can be a lot of fun :)

  2. Pella says:

    A velvet pressing board – how lucky! I usually end up pressing velvet on a scrap of velvet, not as good.

  3. ooobop! says:

    Not heard of one of these but it sounds perfect for fabric with pile. Great catch! And as for that opening ceremony I was blown away… well until Macca ruined it all! DB, creative genius indeed. Loved the bit with Bond and the Queen and I thought Dizzy was well appropriate! Mr David Bowie’s Heroes being very apt and who’d have thought we’d have got away with The Who, The Sex Pistols and the Clash…. I’m glad we came across so rock and roll! Faith restored! :-)

  4. Claudine says:

    That’s a real find!

  5. I loved every minute of the opening ceremony too (agree with Ooobop about Macca though!) it was way, way better than anything I was expecting. You should have seen the look on my boy Louis’ face when J K Rowling appeared reading a story! I thought he was going to pass out. x

  6. LOL @ “The handover took place” … makes it sounds like some James Bond / Jason Bourne -esque spy transaction!

    Great find though :) Those things are pricey new (£200 at MacCulloch and Wallis, discontinued by was £21.95 at Morplan, and over £100-ish dependant on size from eBay – eekk!). Eastman Staples has one (Ironing Mat for Velvet – Item #IM47054, http://www.eastman.co.uk/irons.htm ) but their website doesn’t show a price.

    And I loved the Opening Ceremony, I thought it was a brilliant masterpiece. I managed to catch a photo of the Red Arrows’s smoke trail overhead from my back garden (they were too quick to capture on camera in person).

  7. yesilikethat says:

    The ceremony was so awesome, best bit was Dizzee Rascal popping up to do ‘Bonkers’. Have to agree about Macca tho, he looked like someone’s gran and the sing-along was cringeworthy. Also, the Arctic Monkeys?? A dead giveaway that they started planning the ceremony 4 years ago, surprised they didn’t get Kasabian in as well.

    Never worked with velvet, it seems too scary, although it’s such a gorgeous fabric.

  8. joyful says:

    I have never ever seen or heard of a velvet pressing board before but it seems a cracking idea. I love velvet but am very nervous of working with it.
    I went to Walthamstow market yesterday and bought loads of lovely fabric and trimmings. Then I watched some of the Olympic action on the live screeen there – it was a fantastic atmosphere.

  9. redsilvia says:

    Now you can be on the lookout for some gorgeous silk velvet to make use of the velvet press board. I made scarves once with some burnout silk velvet backed with silk. I seem to remember you get a yard of both fabrics, cut the square in half on the diagonal and sew the two different fabrics together, turn and voila!

  10. Jenn-NY says:

    Yes, I did enjoy the opening ceremonies, although unfortunately, some of it was oddly edited out for the U.S. television broadcast. The both of us screamed when Mr. Bean showed up on the screen!
    ~Jen

  11. I’ve never seen a velvet press before, what a brilliant idea. I loved the opening ceremony, I thought it captured London and what it means to be British perfectly. And good on Danny Boyle for highlighting the importance of the NHS. Fantastic! Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog, it’s much appreciated.

    Best wishes, TNMA.

  12. Molly says:

    What a lucky find! Those things are pricey, I have one on my “nice-to-have” list which means it will be a very long time before I own one. You can get cheaper “roll-up” versions which I think are around the £40 mark, yours looks like a tailor’s board, sturdy and made to last. You’re right about the fabric going face down, I teach my students about them by interlocking my fingers together – the top hand represents the fabric pile, the bottom, the board needles :) You can also use them for suede(tte), corduroy, fur fabrics or anything else with a pile, but you still need to press very gently or better still, just steam the fabric. In the meantime, I also press velvet against another sheet of velvet.

  13. woolcat says:

    So what did the Americans have to say about the NHS bit?? Spill the beans. I am a Brit living in the US and I miss my NHS!

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