by Christina Wright
Add a touch of elegance to any room with the soft, plush texture and rich, deep colors of velvet curtains. Plus, the heavy weight of velvet keeps out extra light and provides maximum privacy, making them the perfect curtains for bedrooms. However, this elegant three-dimensional fabric requires special care when used as window curtains. Read this guide for the basics of caring for your new velvet curtains.
Opening and closing: You should always use a string or rod to open and close your velvet curtains; too much hand contact will bruise and crush the texture of the pile, and, eventually, you will be able to see handprints where you grab your blackout curtains to pull them back.
Cleaning and washing: Because velvet is a delicate pile fabric, your velvet curtains should almost always be taken to professional dry cleaners for cleaning. Velvet curtains designated as washable should be hand-washed or put in a washing machine's gentle or hand-wash cycle in hot water with gentle soap and dried slowly on a padded hanger or in a tumble dryer. If in doubt, take your velvet curtains to a professional cleaner. As a general rule of thumb, you should have your velvet curtains dry cleaned about once every 12 months, although this varies depending on daily use and maintenance.
Maintenance: Gentle brushing and vacuuming is usually fine for dust. Brush or vacuum in the direction of the pile to maintain the texture of the velvet. If spot cleaning is required, gently scrape any soil or mop any liquid from the velvet and be cautious when using soap or detergent and water. Using water to remove soap residue after the spot cleaning can lead to over-wetting, water-marking and other stains or damage. Always test on a hidden area before cleaning visible spots.
Removing creases and bruises: When you take proper care of velvet curtains, creasing and bruising is generally infrequent; however, when it does occur, a light steaming to the back of the velvet can restore the velvet's original texture and look. Make sure the water does not contact velvet curtains designated as "dry clean only."
Storing: If you decide to change window curtains for a season or holiday, follow these storing guidelines to keep your velvet curtains looking fresh for the next time you use them. It is preferable to roll your velvet curtains for storage rather than fold them to avoid creasing and bruising. Roll with the pile on the inside and in the same direction as the pile. If folding is the only storage option, place tissue paper between the folds to support the pile and reduce creasing and bruising.