So, we've compiled this expert guide to help retain velvet's beauty and shape.
01. Know your Velvet
Velvet is often made out of a variety of fabrics, including silk, nylon, cotton, wool, or mohair. Before trying a laundering method, make sure you check the label to know the material content of the velvet.
For instance, silk velvet is a high-end material and should be outsourced to professional cleaners. On the other hand, velveteen is formed of cotton and polyester or rayon and should be hand washed. Some velvets are safe for machine wash. But don’t forget to read the care label before cleaning.
02. Be Gentle & Use Natural Cleansers
Whether it's velvet linen or a garment, it's always best to use natural cleaning solutions. You can try either ready-to-use detergents formulated for delicate fabric or homemade recipes like a blend of baking soda and lemon. You'll find a lot of natural fixes on the internet. Moreover, if your fabric is suitable for machine wash, then go for the gentle washing only. Use only cold water and avoid using dryer.
Make sure you don’t use bleach and fabric softeners because these could ruin velvet’s delicate nap. Most importantly, don’t wash it with other materials, especially rougher ones like denim.
Important Note: When machine washing velvet, don’t forget to flip and wash it inside out to protect the pile on the surface.
03. Use Steaming to Remove Mild Creases
Velvet is plush material with a higher pile. So, it can easily get compressed under pressure/weight for prolonged hours. This looks like a white stain or creases. Though creases often go away naturally, you can also use a handheld steamer for the stubborn ones. Important tips to keep in mind:
- Move the steamer across velvet in the opposite direction of the pile.
- If you’re using a steam iron, use the lowest heat setting.
- Don’t hold the iron/steamer in one spot for more than 2-3 seconds. Whenever you steam or iron the fabric, hold the steam/iron at least 1/2 inch away from it.
- For severe creases, hold the spot over boiling water. Just make sure the fabric doesn’t get wet.
Important Note: Never apply iron directly on the surface of velvet because the heat and weight of the iron can crush its pile and leave an imprint. Keep a safe distance of 1/2 inch between the fabric and the iron.
04. Stain Removal
- Step 1: Gently brush the fabric around the stain with a soft cloth brush to remove it.
- Step 2: Use a dampened lint-free cloth, dab the stain gently, and move it up and down. Avoid too much pressure!
- Step 3: If you still see the stain, mix a mild washing-up liquid with lukewarm water. Whisk the solution until it forms suds.
- Step 4: Apply the suds to the stained area, and dab until the stain disappears.
- Step 5: Dab it with a dry lint-free cloth to remove the residue. Ideally, do a patch test in an inconspicuous area before using this method to remove the stain on velvet.
- Step 6: Remove excess water by blotting with a clean, dry cloth. Finally, brush the pile back.
If you still see the stain, it’s best to get it dry cleaned.
05. Color Fading
Once the color fades away, it’s nearly impossible to fix it. But there are preventive measures you can take to keep velvet from losing its color.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight.
- Fluff and flip your velvet pillows regularly.
- Vacuum with a brush with soft bristles.
06. How to Store Velvet Fabric?
Folding velvet for storage can result in folding lines when you retrieve it from storage for the next usage. Unfortunately, folding can also flatten the piles, a problem that's difficult to fix. So, store velvet in its original packaging. Just make sure you don't reverse the direction of the fabric pile.
Alternatively, roll the fabric in the pile’s direction, with the pile on the inside as you roll. Do you want to hang your velvet linen or clothing? It’s best to use padded hangers only. You can also stuff the garment or velvet throw pillows with tissue papers to retain its shape.
So, with proper and regular care, you can retain the charm, sheen, and softness of delicate velvet material.