If you've been paying attention to my social media recently, you already know that I have been deeply involved with velvet yarn over the last couple of months. The first velvet yarn I purchased was Lion Brand Vel-luxe, and I found it a little bit frustrating because of its tendency to shed, but not so bothersome that I refused to work with it. I desperately wanted to get a larger variety of colors, so I scoured the city quite literally to find some Bernat Velvet because all of my yarn pals were using it and showing off so many beautiful colors. Now that I have worked with both brands extensively, I am ready to give a real review. Which one is better, in my opinion? Keep reading.
I was presented with the opportunity to test a scrunchie pattern, which I fully credit with my new love for velvet yarn, but my first attempt at the scrunchie was disappointing to say the very least. I was using the Lion Brand Vel-luxe for this for the very first time, and the velvet fuzziness kept falling off, leaving me with only string. Oh, the irony to create a hair accessory that appears as though it is balding! I went ahead and completed the first scrunchie so I could complete my pattern test, but I had to make a second one because of the bald patches on attempt #1. Sure, attempt #2 was much more successful, but when weaving in the ends, I noticed more shedding. This gave me cause for concern that my finished items could be sold and one day just "go bald" and really disappoint my customers.
On top of that, I discovered that Lion Brand has only six colors of velvet yarn available, and this momma wanted more variety. I set out on what became a 2-weeks-long search for Bernat Velvet. Yes, I had looked on Amazon, but they wanted a very pretty penny (as Amazon tends to do on yarn), so I tried Michaels. They were completely sold out, so I went over to Hobby Lobby, who evidently (at least at my local store) don't carry ANY Bernat yarn. They did have some Yarn Bee "velvet", which I purchased, but when I got home, I discovered that it felt more like Bernat Blanket than velvet and was way too bulky to use without having to completely rewrite every pattern to account for the bulk, so its gone to the "why did I buy this yarn and what will I ever do with it?" bin to be exhumed another day. Eventually, I was able to make it all the way across town to Joann, where I did finally find the Bernat Blanket. I discovered that this time, Amazon's prices were actually reasonable (I did not realize how large Bernat's Velvet skeins were), so I grabbed all of the colors Joann had and excitedly got to hookin'.
Oh my goodness, what a completely different experience it was working with the Bernat velvet yarn. Firstly, it does not shed. Like at all. Not when starting a skein, not when yarn barf takes over, not when joining 2 ends together, never. It is an absolute delight to work with, like giving my fingers massages while working delightful. Oh, and Bernat makes more than 6 colors. Like way more. I have 18 different colors on hand now (thanks, Amazon!) and not only do I not have all of the colors available, I have no idea how many colors there are, but rest assured I will be attempting to "collect them all"!
The Bernat Velvet is double the price of the Vel-luxe, but is also nearly double the yardage, so for me the cost is no issue for the quality and color selection.
So in short, if you have been considering hopping on the velvet bandwagon, my recommendation is that you bypass the Lion Brand Vel-Luxe even though it is cheaper (the skein is wicked small anyway), and go ahead and spend a little more dough on the Bernat Velvet. Your hands and your sanity will thank you!