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How to Care for Velvet Clothing

by Catherine Amo

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Woman wearing a velvet shirt

Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is formed from silk, cotton, nylon, mohair or wool; thus, it can be difficult to know how to clean it. Velvet clothing requires special care to avoid crushing the pile of the fabric. The following tips will help you to clean and care for velvet clothing.

Caring for Velvet Clothing:

  1. Read the manufacturer's label to determine how to clean your velvet clothing. Some velvet fabrics, such as knit velvet and fine velvet with plain weave, must be dry cleaned. Others, such as crushed velvet, can be machine washed. When in doubt, take your special clothing, such as a velvet dress or velvet jacket, to a professional dry cleaner.

  2. Use a steamer to remove mild creases. Turn the garment inside out and point the nozzle of a steamer at the creases and folds. You may also hang the item in a steam-filled bathroom. If the folds or creases are severe, hold the problem spot over a pot of boiling water, being careful not to get the fabric wet.

  3. Never iron velvet. The heat and weight of the iron will crush the velvet pile and leave an imprint. Irons can also scorch the fabric.

  4. Take damaged velvet clothing to a professional dry cleaner. Hope remains for velvet dresses with stubborn folds, crushed pile and stains. Dry cleaners often have special tools that can lift velvet pile again.

  5. Store velvet clothing carefully but do not fold it. Folds and creases will flatten the pile and are difficult to remove. Store your velvet jacket in a horizontal position in your closet, using the shelving system, or in a large clothing box. You can also stuff the clothing with tissue paper so that it keeps its shape.

  6. Avoid other actions that might flatten the fabric. For instance, if you happen to spill a drink on your velvet dress, do not blot the spot. Blotting velvet when it is wet will press the pile down and ruin the fabric. Instead, shake as much of the moisture off as possible and let the item dry.

Velvet Tip:

  1. If you must fold your velvet clothing, put tissue paper between the folds.

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