The term “panne,” when used in reference to velvet, describes a particular finish that is applied to velvet to increase its luster. Panne velvet is a fluid fabric that is suitable for clothing, costumes and home furnishings.
How Panne Velvet is Made
Velvet is a woven fabric with a pile on one side. The pile is formed by short loops on the surface of the fabric. The loops are cut, leaving a plush surface. In the case of panne velvet, during manufacturing the pile is pressed flat in one direction with a roller. This creates a high luster finish that catches the light.
Fabric Content of Panne Velvet
Velvet can be made from a variety of fibers, including cotton, silk and rayon. Synthetics like acetate and polyester are also used to make velvet. For increased drapability, panne velvet is usually made from silk or rayon and often has a higher pile than other velvets.
Velvet can also be made from knit fabrics. In this case it’s known as velour. The panne process can also be applied to velour.
Cleaning Panne Velvet
Depending on fabric content, panne velvet may be machine washable or may need to be hand washed or dry cleaned. Always follow care instructions that are included with panne velvet garments.
Pressing Panne Velvet
Never apply an iron directly on the velvet. If it becomes wrinkled, a piece of sewing equipment called a needleboard can be used to iron velvet fabric without crushing the pile. Besides damaging the pile, ironing velvet directly can cause a permanent shine. Steam can also be used to remove wrinkles.