This post on how to care for velvet was updated in August 2022.
It’s easy to fall in love with velvet. The classic warmth and rich texture of the irresistible fabric brings a soft touch to its surroundings. So why is it so hard to commit to?
The should-I-or-shouldn’t-I dilemma of velvet lies in its luxurious beauty. How will it hold up over time? Can it keep its luster? While it can’t match the durability of microfiber or Sunbrella – both are certainly more suitable choices for kids or pets – velvet can hold up over the long haul with a little care and effort on your part, much like any successful relationship. Follow our tips below to keep your velvet looking lustrous for years to come – and you’ll love it forever.
For velvet drapery or pillow covers, dry-clean regularly. In between cleanings, use a soft-bristle brush to dust and remove fuzz. For spills or stains, follow our tips below. If you prefer to switch out your velvet drapery in the warmer months, keep them dust-free by hanging them in a breathable covering away from light and moisture.
The dry-cleaning option obviously goes out the window with upholstered furniture. The most important thing you can do to keep any upholstered furniture looking its best is to vacuum regularly, preventing surface dust from settling into the fabric. For velvet, use the small brush attachment of your vacuum and run it in the direction of the nap. If you fear your attachment is not very clean, wrap it in cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band to protect your velvet upholstery.
You can also dry brush with a soft-bristled hair brush to dust and remove hair or fuzz. This especially works if you need to clean it in a jiffy!
Stains & Spills
Any spills should be treated as quickly as possible by gently pressing a white absorbent cloth or paper towel over the spill. Slightly moistening the cloth with lukewarm water may help as well. Just be careful not to rub or pat the spill, which will force the moisture deeper into the fabric.
For more persistent stains, there are a couple of solutions you can try. The first requires mixing a few drops of dishwashing detergent with a small amount of warm water in a bowl. Agitate the solution until suds fill the top of the bowl. Using a soft white cloth, apply only the suds to the stained area, taking care to not over wet the fabric. Lightly dab the stain until it starts to fade. Blot with a clean cloth to remove the remaining stain and any residue from the suds. Allow the area to dry completely, using a hair dryer on its lowest setting if necessary.
If that doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to use a dry cleaning solvent. Follow the directions on the packaging to dilute the solution. Apply a small amount on a clean cloth – never directly on the fabric – and lightly dab into the stain just as you did with the suds mixture. Use a damp, clean cloth to remove any residual shampoo. Let it dry completely.
Reviving Its Sheen
Has your velvet lost its luster? 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 hair brush.
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