The beauty of velvet has been recognized since medieval times. It has decorated palaces, theatres and opera houses the world over. Velvet has served as the namesake for movies, rock bands and political revolutions. Now you can share in its rich history by upholstering your furniture with this opulent and versatile fabric.
Our velvets are available in an array of sumptuous colors guaranteed to captivate even the most jaded of eyes. They can be used to make bedspreads, blankets, draperies, jewelry boxes, pillows, garments and to upholster furniture. Lavish your home with the decadent pleasures of velvet.
Styles of Velvet at J&O
We have four types of velvet in our store, each is durable:
Cotton velvet- this is the classic velvet with an old world look. This velvet is scotch-guarded.
Suede velvet- this is our finest velvet. It is made out of nylon with slightly more sheen than the cotton. This style is stain and mildew resistant.
Flocked velvet- also made out of nylon and particularly good for poker tables.
Crushed velvet- this velvet is the same as above but with a wrinkled look. It was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s and is in style again. The crushed look is perfect for groovy draperies and upholstering that will remind you of the “Summer of Love”.
Protect Your Velvet Fabrics
In case of a spill, shake as much moisture from the velvet as possible and allow it enough time to dry. Do not blot or apply pressure in the damp areas as the velvet pile can be crushed. For velvet garments it is recommendable to wear underarm guards because perspiration can disturb the dyes and cause permanent damage.
Prompt attention to stains increases success in removing them. Even stain-resistant finishes such as scotch-guard offer only temporary protection. Periodic cleaning by professional upholstery cleaners will maximize the lifespan of your upholstery.
In addition to perspiration, remember that perfume, deodorant, hair spray and makeup can also be damaging to velvet fabrics. Velvet dress fabrics should only be dry cleaned.
Take into Account the Pile of Your Velvet Fabrics
Preserving your velvet upholstery fabrics presents a special challenge because of their pile and nap. The pile refers to the shorts yarns woven into the backing of the fabric that create the plush surface. The nap refers to the direction of the pile. On furniture, the nap should run down on seat backs and toward the front on seat cushions; this aligns with how our bodies move when we sit down and get up. The fabric will wear better if the nap is running in the right direction.
Cleaning Your Velvet Fabrics
Certain manufacturers recommend that velvet be cleaned under the guidelines of cleaning code S. To clean fabrics marked with this code simply spot clean the fabric using a mild, water-free solvent or dry cleaning product. Water based cleaning products may create water stains. Follow the usage direction for such products and make sure that the area you are cleaning in is well ventilated. Avoid products that contain carbon tetrachloride, which is highly toxic. Always test the cleaning product on an inconspicuous area before proceeding. If the upholstery fabric requires more extensive cleaning, we recommend calling in professional upholstery cleaners.
Velvet upholstery responds well to damp fluffing and brushing, a light professional cleaning technique. Clean as large an area as possible to avoid leaving rings or a clean spot. A very soft brush (such as a baby’s hairbrush) can be used for brushing the nap of velvet upholstery while cleaning.
Note that the color of velvet will appear to change depending on the direction of the nap - so be sure to look at the fabric from the right angle with this in mind.
A Note on Stain Repellants
Upholstery fabrics treated with stain repellants provide barriers around the fibers. Therefore, most liquid spills will bead up on the surface of the fabric for easy blotting before it sets in to stain the fabric. However, a fabric's stain repellant properties do not make it waterproof. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of a stain repellant will deteriorate with the wear and abrasion caused by normal use.
Storing Velvet Fabrics
Before storing your velvet fabrics for an extended period of time it is important to have them properly laundered to prevent dust, soil and stains from attracting critters. Furthermore, avoid storing your velvet fabrics in attics or basements; these places tend to be vulnerable to mold, mildew and insects and other threats. The best location in your home for velvet fabric storage is a cool, dry room. If using a closet, make sure there is sufficient air circulation to prevent mold growth. Always store your fabrics out of direct sunlight.
Your velvet upholstery fabrics can be stored in bags of linen, cotton or muslin. Do not use plastic bags, cedar chests or cardboard boxes for storage. Fumes from polyurethane foam, cedar closets and acids in unvarnished wood and cardboard can damage your velvet fabrics. Acid free tissue paper can also be employed in the storage of your velvet fabrics.
* The above information is intended to aid our customers in their fabric projects. These suggestions are based on manufacturer's recommendations and customer insights. The above statements are not intended to be understood as unequivocal or applicable to every circumstance. Therefore, J&O Fabrics is not responsible for the results of the implementation of these cleaning methods.