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Burnout Velvet

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: Martha Stewart


Create beautiful faux-bois velvet with this DIY technique from artist Kevin O'Brien.


  • Screen-printing screen

  • White silk/rayon velvet

  • Fiber Etch fiber-removing solution

  • Rubber squeegee

  • Iron

  • Metal scraper

  • Fabric dye

  • Paintbrush


  1. Transfer chosen design to screen with a screen-printing kit (drawing fluid or photo emulsion). Alternatively, have a screen-printing studio transfer the design for you.

  2. Lay white velvet with back (smooth side) facing up. Place screen over velvet; pour solution over screen. Using a rubber squeegee, drag liquid across design. Remove screen and let dry.

  3. Iron the back of the velvet with a hot iron. The heat will activate the solution to dissolve the fibers.

  4. Turn fabric over. Using a metal scraper, scrape away dissolved velvet to reveal design.

  5. Dye fabric with a base color. Brush a second color of dye onto the velvet with a paintbrush. Let fabric dry before using or sewing.

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