How to Care for Velvet Upholstery Fabric
Velvet upholstery fabric makes for beautiful furniture! It comes in rich, vibrant colors, it’s soft, it’s warm, and it always looks so luxurious. It’s just unfortunate that velvet marks so easily. Here’s some tips on how to prevent that, and how to keep your velvet sofas, chairs and chaises looking lovely.
You know, prevention is always better than a cure. Here’s a few key ways to help you to keep your velvet sofas and chairs from getting marked in the first place:
1. Move the back cushions and turn the seat cushions regularly. This will help to prevent pressure marks forming where the cushions rest against each other.
2. Shake and plump your fiber-filled cushions regularly to keep them looking fat and help prevent wrinkles. Wrinkles in the fabric can cause marks in the velvet pile.
3. Don’t leave things resting on the sofa. Anything with hard edges, including TV remotes, books or magazines can leave lines in the velvet upholstery fabric if left sitting on it for long enough.
4. Brush your sofa regularly (we recommend once a week) with a soft clothes brush, being careful to brush in the direction of the nap of the fabric.
Then, how to keep the velvet upholstery fabric clean? Well, always work in the direction of the nap of the fabric. Remove any loose dirt with a soft clothes brush or vacuum cleaner first. Any damp spills should be gently dabbed (not rubbed!) with a dry, colorfast, absorbent cloth, working from the outside of the spill into the middle to avoid spreading it.
To clean, you can use a specialist upholstery or carpet cleaning solution. Most water-based solutions will be suitable. Always test any cleaners on a small hidden area of the fabric first, to check it does not damage the fabric. Read all instructions thoroughly. Avoid dampening or soaking the fabric as this may cause shrinking or water staining. Instead, lightly spray the area with the diluted cleaning solution and gently wipe off in the direction of the nap, with a dry absorbent colorfast cloth.
The most common cause of marks to a velvet fabric sofa or chair is crushing of the velvet pile fibers. This can cause darker or lighter looking lines in the fabric, and a change in the texture.
Fortunately, light marks can be removed with a soft clothes brush, brushing gently in the direction of the nap. And heavier or stubborn marks can be removed with a suede brush, which you can get from any good cobblers or homeware/DIY store. A suede brush is a small brush that typically has metal bristles on one side, and rubber bristles on the other.
Try the rubber side of the suede brush first, and brush the mark in the direction of the nap. If that doesn’t work, gently brush in the direction of the nap with the metal bristle side, using only the tips of the bristles and being very careful not to poke them through the fabric.
If you’re still having trouble, try dampening the fabric by spraying on a little water. This will help relax the velvet fibers and should make it easier to straighten them with gentle brushing.