How to Care for your Decor Fabrics

Frequently, my clients ask me how to care for their upholstery fabrics and drapes in between dry cleanings. Here are some suggestions to get you through until you can get your fabrics professionally cleaned:

Velvet: One of the more difficult fabrics to care for at home. If you find your velvet has creased or wrinkled invest in a steamer available at a linen store near you like Bed Bath and Beyond. Creases in velvet can become permanent if not removed quickly. Please do not use an iron. In order to remove dust from velvet use a vacuum with one of the attachments meant for cleaning drapery or other delicates. If you find that you need to spot clean your velvet it is time for professional upholstery cleaning. There are detergents available in the market that advertise that they are for upholstery – DO NOT use them on velvet, the stain can become much worse and much bigger.

Satin: Unlike velvet, satin is a little easier to care for at home. If you need to get wrinkles or creases out of your satin use an iron on a medium/light setting with no steam. Try not to let the iron sit in one place to long and if you can, iron the satin on the wrong side. For spot cleaning, use cold water and a household detergent made for delicates like Woolite, which is available at most grocery stores in the detergent aisle. After you spot clean, use a hair dryer to dry the spot you just cleaned.

Silk: Spot cleaning 100% silk should be left to the professions only, but if you find you need to spot clean a silk blend you would follow the same cleaning process as you would for satin but try adding a drop or two of hair conditioner to your rinse water to give keep the fabric soft and flexible. Please note, if you spot clean your silks you may have a permanent spot that may not have the same sheen or finish as the rest of the fabric. If you have to get wrinkles or creases out of your silk use a cool iron and a press cloth between the iron and the fabric.

Cotton: Perhaps the easiest fabric to care for in your home. To keep your cotton fabrics looking like new vacuum and spot clean regularly using an upholstery spray cleaner available at most grocery stores. Be careful to not let a stain or spot sit too long as they can become permanent.

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