Since purchasing some velvet chairs for our dining room, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how simple it is to care for velvet furniture! I’ve been careful to clean them properly and I think that’s really helping. Come learn how to clean and maintain velvet sofas and chairs to make them last for years, and read my pros and cons list to having velvet in your home if you aren’t quite sure you want to commit!
This post was originally published in 2018 and has since been updated.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Brick. As always, all of the opinions here are my own.
Recently, we added four velvet dining chairs (the Manhattan Dining Chairs) to our well-used breakfast nook and a gorgeous crushed velvet sofa (the Meredith Velvet Sofa) to our living room. I’ve always loved the look and feel of velvet, but I’ve been hesitant to have it in our home with three young kids and my rather haphazard housekeeping skills. But I just love the way a velvet surface looks and feels, and was hoping that with regular cleaning and the right technique I could keep this (what I thought at the time) high-maintenance fabric looking its best.
Well, I’m pleased to report that these velvet pieces have done well in our home, and I’m very happy with how easy they are to clean and care for! I thought velvet would be challenging to maintain, but I have never been happier to be wrong. I’m thrilled that my favourite fabric can work in our busy home. If you’re curious about velvet furniture, its pros and cons, and how to care for it, read on!
What is velvet?
Velvet isn’t a fabric type (synthetic, cotton, silk, etc.), but rather a fabric weave. This means you can have silk velvet, cotton velvet, or synthetic fibres too. This somewhat delicate fabric is manufactured in a unique way to create the short, dense pile it’s known for. My Meredith Sofa and Manhattan Dining Chairs from The Brick are synthetic, and I think this makes them easier to care for than a natural fibre would be. Keep the extra special care needs of different types of fabrics in mind when looking for a velvet piece for your home to ensure it fits your lifestyle.
How do I clean a velvet sofa?
I’ve found that cleaning my velvet chairs and sofa regularly with my vacuum cleaner’s handheld upholstery attachment helps remove the dust and hair that inevitably gets trapped in the soft fibres. I do this about once every couple of weeks. Just make sure you use a soft brush meant for upholstery. If you are really serious about it, you can get a specific velvet upholstery brush! But I haven’t found that to be necessary. The vacuum cleaner doesn’t hurt the velvet pile, and keeping it free from dust and debris prevents friction and rubbing damage.
Does water damage velvet? What happens if a velvet sofa gets wet?
If my dry or damp cloth method doesn’t work or if you really want to use something other than plain water, try these velvet sofa cleaning instructions. As with any cleaning solution, make sure you do a patch test in a small area (preferably a hidden area!) before you do a large and visible section.
- Mix clean water with one or two drops of a gentle, grease-fighting dish soap
- Use a soft cloth and gently blot the stain with your soap solution
- Allow it to dry completely
- Then, use a soft brush to return the fibres to their proper direction. When wiping or blotting, even gently, you might end up working in the opposite direction of the pile. You need to make sure the velvet is all going in the same direction again before your job is complete.
As tempting as it may be to get your clothes steamer or carpet steam cleaner out for a set-in stain like you would for regular upholstery, heat should be avoided. It can damage the fibres much like dousing them in water can! You also want to avoid harsh chemicals, and I really don’t think they are necessary anyway.
Can you have a velvet sofa cleaned?
If you’re feeling nervous about cleaning your own velvet sofa or if you are considering a natural fiber that is more delicate than synthetic, then absolutely, professional upholstery cleaners are the way to go! Professionals will use a dry cleaning method that will avoid water entirely, and put you totally at ease about the care of your precious fabric. Even if you plan to look after it mostly yourself, a good cleaning once or twice a year is never a bad idea.
What are the pros and cons of velvet?
Velvet is not necessarily for everyone! Make sure you consider your lifestyle and desire to commit to taking care of a slightly high-maintenance material before you run out and purchase a new velvet couch. For me, the pros definitely outweighed the minimal cons on my list.
- A luxurious look with an ever-changing sheen
- Incredible softness to the touch
- Easy to wipe down (synthetic velvet)
- A vintage look as it ages
- Easily attracts dust and hair
- Visible lines and prints when objects or people brush against it
If you go through this list and decide that velvet might not be for you, there are plenty of other lovely options out there! Try a beautiful but extra durable fabric for your furniture like leather or faux leather. I love this dove grey leather sofa and these New York Dining Chairs from The Brick.
But if the pros appeal more to you than the cons in this list, great! If the vintage look of ever-changing lines, prints, and sheens attracts you and you are looking for a luxurious, romantic decor piece that feels soft and warm, you’ll probably love a velvet piece in your home just as much as I do! Check out all of these lovely velvet couches and chairs from The Brick.
Our Meredith Sofa has been our family’s favourite cuddle spot since we brought it home, and our Manhattan Dining Chairs are well-used and comfortable and they still look great. I’m so happy I took the leap to bring velvet into our home decor!
Now tell me: Would you consider velvet furniture for your home? Why or why not? Leave a comment!