Velvet 101: How to Care for Your Favorite Velvet Products
Velvet has long been a home-decor favorite thanks to its luxurious flair. The good news is that modern velvet fabrics are easier to care for than ever. Still, velvet’s soft, delicate nature makes it necessary to treat this fabric with gentle care. Whether you’re going all-in for a velvet living room seating arrangement or you’re adding a single velvet pillow to the stack of decorative cushions, learning to care for your velvet products helps you to make the most of these beautiful items. These tips from us at Pottery Barn will help you maintain your luxe fabric for years to come.
How to Wash a Velvet Blanket
Proper care for a velvet blanket depends heavily on the material used in the blanket’s construction. It may be possible to machine wash some plush velvet blanket materials, including polyester velvet. If that blanket has a down fill or detailed embellishments, it’s probably best to leave it out of the wash. Dry cleaning may be appropriate in some cases. If you can’t access any care information for your velvet blanket, err on the side of caution and spot clean.
A spilled glass of wine, for example, is something you can take care of by quickly blotting the area with an absorbent towel. Then, alternate between damp and dry towel blotting until the stain is gone or has lessened. Don’t rub staining liquids, like wine, into velvet. Blot using a gentle, well-aimed up-and-down motion rather than a circular or back-and-forth rubbing motion. This keeps you from spreading the liquid around on the fabric or working it deep into the velvet pile, where stains are harder to remove.
How to Care for Velvet Upholstery
Furniture upholstered with velvet has unique care requirements that allow you to keep the fabric plush and free from dust that naturally accumulates around the house. Though velvet fabrics have a rewardingly glamorous effect on headboards, sofas and other upholstered furniture pieces, they often require a bit of extra attention to maintain their beauty.
First, take care to avoid prolonged bare skin or bare head contact with velvet-upholstered furniture. The natural oils human skin and hair produce can create noticeable dark spots on velvet over time. This may mean adding a few extra pillows to lean up against rather than leaning directly against your velvet headboard at night. You can also add a decorative throw blanket to the back of a high-backed velvet armchair.
Second, velvet’s plush pile can attract and trap dust. It helps to sweep or vacuum your velvet-upholstered furniture on a regular basis to prevent buildup. Use a gentle vacuum attachment, ideally one with a soft-bristle brush or a smooth edge to avoid scraping or denting the velvet. Get into hidden areas such as the top of a headboard or the corners between a sofa’s back and arms.
How to Keep Velvet Pillows Fresh
Velvet throw pillows offer a subtle way to incorporate this luxe fabric into your home decor. From the living room to the bedroom, a velvet throw pillow brings comfort and glamour to your seating and sleeping areas. Velvet throw pillows can use some freshening up from time to time. The way you approach this care should vary on a case-by-case basis.
Velvet throw pillows with covers that are fixed to their stuffing need spot cleaning with a warm, damp towel. Make sure your towel is white and free from stains or dyes that might stain the pillow. Use a fabric towel rather than a paper towel to avoid material transfer. Embellished velvet pillows with removable cases should also get this gentle spot-clean treatment.
If you can remove the velvet throw pillow cover from its insert, you may be able to run it through a gentle machine wash cycle. However, this may be limited by the material the velvet is made from. Read any available care instructions to ensure you’re not potentially damaging the soft fabric by sending it through the wash. Machine-washable velvet pillow covers are often dryer safe as well, but typically only on a low-heat tumble dry setting.