I thought I'd better do some samples on smaller pieces before tackling the big job, so I made three pieces about 16" square. I cut them a bit larger, allowing for shrinkage. They didn't shrink much, but there was a lot of fraying.
Here are the results.
This one was the easiest to do. I accordion pleated it and then clamped it in six rows with plastic clothespins.
This was the hardest to do because it took six rows of hand stitching, which were then pulled tightly and knotted. A very subtle look, much more subtle than if I had done it on plain cotton.
This one was accordion pleated in two directions then clamped using metal canning jar lids and C-clamps. I was able to get a very tight clamp, thus the stark white circles. Not sure if I like this for a pillow. Of course they will look different and better when rounded out on a pillow form.
The velveteen was very easy to work with, unlike velvet. I could steam press it on the wrong side with no ill affects. My sister's couches are actually off-white, so I'm not sure how these will look. I don't think I want to dye the fabric first, but that is a possibility.
Next is what can happen if you buy cheap rubber gloves at the dollar store. Don't, I repeat DON'T use them when dyeing fabric.
Palm side, also after some scouring. I know that it will eventually wear off in a couple of days, but I certainly have learned a lesson. Ah, how were suffer for our art!