So you’ve fallen in love with the luxuriousness of velvet, be it a coat or dress, but find its fibers seem to go dirty too fast feel like it needs frequent washing.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, you can never work out how to do this delicately enough so as not to destroy the fabric…never fear!
We know all about velvet…we don’t want it ruined any more than you do. So here are some tips on how best to clean your precious jewel-like velvets safely.
But first of all, let’s look at why velvet seems to attract dirt and dust like a magnet.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Velvet is a dense fabric, so it tends to hold onto dirt and dust particles more than other fabrics.
- It also has a deep pile, which makes it difficult to clean properly.
- The surface of velvet is very smooth, which can make it difficult for dirt and dust to be dislodged.
So now you know why velvet needs special care when it comes to washing, let’s take a look at how best to do it:
8 Steps To Wash A Velvet Dress
Following are the easiest and best steps to wash a velvet dress;
follow them carefully and your dress will look just as good when it comes out of the wash.
#1 Make Sure You Can Launder Your Velvet Dress
We know that sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t bother to check what the manufacturer’s recommendations are on cleaning their fabric before attempting to do anything with it!
So, if you’re unsure about whether or not your velvet garment can handle washing, check the care label for any suggestions or restrictions on how best to clean it.
It very well may say something like “dry clean only” – in which case you should leave it up to a professional cleaner who knows how best to deal with delicate fabrics like velvet.
However, if there aren’t any specific recommendations, you can assume that your velvet is a washable fabric and go on to step 2.
#2 Get A Large Buckets or Plastic Wash Tub
You need a vessel that’s large enough to hold the item of clothing as well as some room for water around it.
You should also choose one with sides at least 12 inches high – this will make it easier to immerse the fabric in the water.
The average washing machine drum has sides that are 10 inches tall, so if you use an ordinary tub as well as a washer, you should have no problem immersing your dress completely underwater without touching the bottom of either container.
If you happen to have several items to be laundered at the same time, you could use a large plastic storage bin as your tub. Just make sure that it has a lid to prevent anything from falling in and landing on your clothing!
#3 Fill Your Wash Tub with Warm Water
Warm or hot water is best for washing velvet because it will help to dissolve any dirt or dust particles more easily than cold water.
You can also add some gentle laundry detergent to the water – but be very sparing when doing so. Too much soap can affect how well the fabric repels stains in future, so just use a low concentration of the stuff…you don’t need much at all!
A small capful should be enough. If you’re unsure, always do a “dip test” where you place the smallest drop of the detergent onto an inconspicuous part of the garment or just on some fabric that’s hidden at the hemline.
Then, rub it into the fabric with your fingers. If there is no discoloration after 24 hours, then you’re good to go!
#4 Submerge Your Velvet Dress In The Water
Make sure that every part of the dress gets completely soaked in the water…this will make sure all dirt and dust particles are removed as well as helping to dissolve more ingrained stains if they happen to be present.
This may take a little while because velvet has quite dense fibers, but stay patient – eventually, your dress should start looking limp and soggy.
If you have a wire clothing hanger, you can use it to hold the dress under the water while you work on other parts of the laundry process.
#5 Soak The Dress for at least 30 Minutes
Once your dress is fully submerged in the water, it’s important to let it soak for at least half an hour.
This will give the detergent enough time to work its magic and loosen any dirt or dust particles that may be hidden in the fabric’s fibers.
If there are any particularly stubborn stains, you can leave the dress to soak for up to 12 hours – but overnight soaking is not recommended as it can cause discoloration over time
Just make sure to check on it every so often to make sure the water hasn’t gone cold and that the dress isn’t starting to wrinkle!
#6 Gently Rub The Fabric In A Circular Motion
Once the dress has been soaking for a while, it’s time to start scrubbing it.
But be very gentle when doing so! Velvet is a very soft fabric and can easily be damaged if you’re too rough with it.
So, using your fingers or a soft-bristled brush (like a baby’s hairbrush), rub the fabric in a circular motion. This will help to dislodge any dirt or dust particles that have built up over time.
If there are any stains that seem particularly difficult to remove, you can use a small amount of laundry detergent to help loosen them up.
But remember – less is more when it comes to soap suds, so just add a tiny drop at a time and then rub it in before checking to see if the stain has disappeared.
#7 Rinse The Dress Thoroughly
Once you’re happy that the dress is looking as clean as possible, it’s time to rinse it off.
Make sure to remove all of the soap suds (and any residue from the detergent) before moving on to the next step.
You can do this by gently pouring fresh water over the dress or by using a spray bottle.
If you have a washing machine, you can also put the dress through a cold water rinse cycle.
just make sure that it’s fully dried before putting it away!
#8 Hang The Dress To Dry
Now that the dress is clean, it’s time to dry it off.
Hanging it up to air dry is the best way to do this – just make sure that you hang it somewhere where there’s plenty of ventilation.
A clothesline or a drying rack would be perfect for this job.
The dress should be completely dry within 24 hours.
If you need to wash the dress at the same time, you could use a large plastic storage bin as your tub. Just make sure that it has a lid to prevent anything from falling in and landing on your dress while it’s submerged in the water.
Washing a velvet dress can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these eight simple steps, you’ll be able to do it with ease. Just remember to be gentle when scrubbing the fabric and to rinse it thoroughly afterward.
And most importantly, allow the dress plenty of time to air dry before putting it away!
By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your velvet dress looking as good as new for years to come!