How To Care For Velvet

The classic look, warmth and rich texture of velvet makes it one of the most irresistible fabrics. Its use brings a soft, elegant touch to residential and high-end commercial surroundings. While it’s easy to fall in love with velvet it is equally challenging to commit to its use.

The should-I-or-shouldn’t-I dilemma of velvet lies in its luxurious beauty. How well will it hold up over time? Can it keep its luster? Is it cleanable? Though velvet doesn’t possess the durability of microfiber or Sunbrella materials – both of which are far more suitable choices for kids or pets – it actually will hold up over the long haul with a little care and effort on your part. Follow our tips below to keep your velvet looking lustrous for years to come.

BASIC MAINTENANCE

Velvet drapery, bed coverings and pillow covers should be dry-cleaned regularly. Use a soft-bristle brush to dust and remove fuzz from items in between cleanings. To extend the life of velvet you may want to switch out your drapery during the warmer months, especially if they hang in direct sun. When stored they should be hung in a dust-free breathable covering away from light and moisture.

Dry-cleaning is not an easy option for upholstered furniture. The best way to keep upholstered furniture looking its best is to vacuum regularly. This will prevent surface dust from settling into the fabric. Use the small brush attachment of your vacuum, running it in the direction of the nap. To best protect your velvet upholstery wrap your brush attachment in cheesecloth, securing it with a rubber band. You can also dry brush velvet with a soft-bristled hairbrush. This is especially helpful if you need to clean furnishings quickly! 

SPILLS & STAINS

Spills and stains should be treated as quickly as possible. Gently press a white absorbent cloth or paper towel on the spot to soak up the spill. It may help removal to slightly moisten the cloth with lukewarm water. Be very careful not to rub or pat the spill as that can force the moisture deeper into the fabric.

There are a couple of solutions you can try to remove persistent stains. The first calls for mixing a few drops of dish washing detergent with a small amount of warm water in a bowl. Stir the solution until suds fill the bowl then use a soft white cloth to apply only the suds to the stained area. Lightly dab the stain until it starts to fade then blot it with a clean cloth to remove the remaining stain and any residue from the suds. Take care not to over wet the velvet. Allow the area to dry completely. You may use a hair dryer on its lowest setting if necessary, keeping the nozzle about a foot away from the fabric.

You can use a dry cleaning solvent if the soapsuds approach doesn’t work. Be sure to dilute the solution by following the directions on the packaging. Apply a small amount of the diluted mix using a clean cloth, lightly dabbing into the stain just as you did with the suds mixture. Never pour the mixture directly on the fabric. Use a clean, damp cloth to remove any residual solution and let the area dry completely.

REVIVING SHEEN

What makes velvet so luxurious is its distinctive sheen. So, can anything be done if your velvet upholstery has lost its luster? Indeed there is. You can use a steamer to restore its signature shine. Keep the nozzle moving across the velvet at a moderate pace in the direction of the nap. After it’s completely dry, brush it in the direction of the nap using a soft-bristled hairbrush.

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