Top tips for washing velvet to keep it shiny and luxurious

Being a pricey investment, it’s important to care for your velvet items properly. To help you, here are sometop tips for washing velvet to keep it shiny and luxurious.
Before you begin, it’s important to know the quality and type of velvet you have, as well as any garment care instructions, to ensure the cleaning method you choose is safe for the type of velvet you are working with. The most important thing when washing velvet is to preserve the soft texture of its delicate nap. Always test a small area first to make sure the cleaning method provides the desired cleaning effects.

Types of velvet

Velvet is a weave made with other fibers, like silk, and is known for its rich, velvety sheen.

  • The more expensive the velvet, the thicker and cleaner the pile or nap.
  • Silk velvet is the priciest type of velvet, and is often used in luxury gowns and other evening wear.

If your velvet garment includes beading or other adornments, these can complicate the cleaning process.

  • Unless you’re just spot treating a stain, washing these garments is best left to professionals.

Cotton (known as velveteen) and synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon are quite common and less expensive.

  • These can typically be hand washed or gently machine washed.

Washing velvet

When hand washing velvet:

  • Before washing, turn item inside out so that you’re handling the flat side.
  • Use a small amount —no more than a teaspoon—of liquid laundry detergent designed for delicates with cool water.
  • Press soapy water through, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Hang or lay flat to dry.

When machine washing velvet:

  • Wash the garment alone or with a light load to prevent too much agitation.
  • Use cool or cold water settings.
  • Avoid bleach and fabric softeners which can ruin its delicate nap.
  • Remove promptly once cycle has finished.
  • Hang or lay flat to dry.

Treating stains

Your best defense against stains is to treat them immediately. If you can’t treat it when it occurs, keep in mind that you have a better chance of removing it sooner than later. As such:

  • Blot away any excess.
  • Use a moist cloth to gently rub over the stain. Keep the movement in one direction to prevent damaging the nap.
  • If necessary, use a small drop of delicate laundry detergent.
  • To rinse, use a wet cloth to dab away any soap residue.
  • Blot with a clean towel to dry.

Dealing with creases

One of the steps that is a process of learning how to wash velvet properly is having to deal with the folds and creases that can flatten the pile in velvet. These can be very difficult to remove.

  • Use a handheld steamer to raise the pile as needed. If you don’t have a handheld steamer, hold an iron a few inches from your garment on the steam setting.
  • For synthetic and cotton velvets, a quick toss in the dryer should refresh the nap.
  • When storing velvet, be careful not to fold it. Use tissue paper to prevent creases. Hang velvet jackets on padded hangers.
Top tips for washing velvet to keep it shiny and luxurious
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