Choosing velvet furniture is choosing to make a bold style statement in your space—there’s no ignoring its soft sheen, rich colour, and innate elegance. But velvet’s commanding presence also means that any discolouration or stains are that much more visible. No more hiding a dusty apartment…once the sunlight hits a velvet couch, there’s no hiding those annoying, allergy-inducing particles.
According to Anne White, the Anthropologie’s head of home interiors personal styling, the first thing you should think about is actually completely unrelated to the furniture. “If you’ve opted for a bright, richly pigmented colour, like navy or chartreuse, we recommend avoiding direct sunlight, which can cause the fabric to fade,” she says. “Consider window coverings substantial enough to protect your piece but lovely enough to catch the eye. The technology for window films, which block the sun’s rays without blocking your view, has improved and maybe another avenue to explore.” Craving more velvet cleaning tips? Read on to learn how to clean velvet furniture and protect it from wear and tear and those inevitable spills.
Soap and water or an upholstery cleaner
Remember those pesky dust particles we were talking about? Well, in terms of regular maintenance, all you need to do to the item itself is give it a good dusting. “We recommend regular vacuuming,” says Anne. “A soft brush can also loosen surface dirt and brush it away.”
If you happen to spill your cocktail on your couch, White suggests blotting the area immediately with a clean, dry absorbent cloth.
If a dried stain is staring you in the face and you just can’t help but do something about it, test any cleaning product (even basic soap and water) on a hidden spot to ensure it doesn’t ruin the fabric. Mix soap and water to create a sudsy solution. Use a soft cloth to blot the stain with the suds, then let the fabric dry completely.
“Once the velvet is dry, use a soft, dry brush in the direction of the pile to restore its direction and loft,” says Anne. This will give the velvet that brand-new, never-been-touched look.
When in doubt, ask for help. “It’s best to professionally clean the entire piece to ensure the color remains uniform,” Anne explains. “To ensure your velvet furniture remains in optimal condition, you should have it professionally cleaned with pure, water-free solvents.” Next up? Sit back, relax, and enjoy your good-as-new upholstery.