We all love the rich and smooth feel of velvet against our skin, and what better time than winters to flaunt this royal fabric? But when it comes to velvet, there are times when we have experienced issues that have compromised its appearance and textural feel.
We have seen some of our favourite velvet clothes flattening, becoming matted and even shrinking. That's when we realized that like other delicate fabrics, velvet also needs to be cared for and cleaned in the right way. After some research, we learned how to keep our velvets in top condition.
We don't want you to make the same mistakes that we made, so we have listed down some easy to follow tips that have helped us with winter velvet care.
1. Know Your Velvet
Did you know that velvet is made from different fabrics? We didn't, which is why we decided to learn more about this fabric. We learnt that velvet was mostly made from silk in earlier times, which is why it was exclusively adorned by the royal and wealthy class of people.
However, in the current times, it is being made out of nylon and rayon fibres to make it more affordable. A similar fabric called velveteen is derived from cotton.
Before laundering, we always check the garment care label of our clothes. We have understood that silk velvet, being extremely delicate and vulnerable to rough handling, needs professional care. Hence, dry cleaning is the best option for this high-quality velvet. Velveteen and those derived from polyester, nylon etc., can be hand washed if the care label permits.
2. Be Gentle While Washing
Initially, we were apprehensive about washing our velvet clothes, afraid that we would wreck them. But, we soon realized that it could be absolutely safe to wash them at home if we took the right steps. We always start by turning our velvet garments inside out to ensure the fabric's delicate part does not have to face undue friction. We then fill a basin with cold water and add a small quantity of mild detergent designed especially for delicate fabrics like wool, silk, chiffon etc.
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This is followed by the gentle swishing of the velvet items in the soapy solution with our hands until they look clean. At this stage, we recommend that you do not scrub or twist the fabric as it could stretch and damage the clothes. After this, we empty the soapy water and fill it once again with clean and cool water. Move the garment up and down in the water until you don't see any detergent residue coming out of it.
If the wash care label permits machine wash, we make sure our velvets are placed in a mesh washing bag before putting it in the washing machine. This is a significant step to protect the embroidery and/or embellishments on our precious velvets, which may get damaged if they come in contact with zippers or buttons of other clothes.
We then add a mild detergent to the machine according to the load size and use cold water. Using hot water can make velvet clothes shrink and lose their elasticity. We also use only the gentle wash cycle for our velvet clothes to ensure there is no damage.
3. Always use a Fabric Conditioner
We noticed that after repeated washing, our velvets started to look dull in appearance. We realized that these delicate clothes needed something more than detergent to bring back their lustre and shine. In our research, we came across the term ‘fabric conditioner.’ Fabric conditioners form a protective coating over the fibres of a garment and prevent damage caused by frequent washing.
But to zero in on one among the numerous fabric conditioners available in the market was a challenge. However, upon the recommendation of a few frequent users, we decided to try Comfort Fabric Conditioner. Its label mentioned that it nourishes the cloth fibres and protects them from wear and tear, which helps retain the new like shine.
After using the product, we were amazed to see our favourite velvet clothes shining as if they had just been bought from the store. Even after repeated washes, the shine on our clothes remained intact.
We loved how soft and velvety our clothes felt against our skin. Also, the long-lasting fresh fragrance it lent to our clothes made it an instant hit with us. After using Comfort Fabric Conditioner over an extended period of time we noticed that it also helped in increasing the lifespan of our velvet clothes. We never faced instances of colour fading or stretching of clothes after incorporating Comfort Fabric Conditioner in our laundry process. Fewer wrinkles and reduced static were some additional benefits of this product.
4. Invest in a Lint Roller
When it comes to taking care of our velvets, we recommend investing in a good quality lint roller. We noticed that velvet attracts a lot of lint, dust and dirt, which can be quite a task to remove.
The lint stands out starkly on our dark coloured velvet clothes and spoils their entire look. However, simple steps like turning the cloth items inside out during wash, washing with like-coloured clothing and fabrics and avoiding washing with lint producing material like towels, fleece etc., helped keep the lint situation in control. A lint roller further helped get rid of any extra lint and dust between the washes.
5. Take Care of the Creases in the Right Way
Ironing is a strict no-no to eliminate creases in velvet garments. A garment steamer is the best way to remove any wrinkles on velvets as ironing crushes the fibres and can leave a permanent imprint on them.
Hang the garment and move the steamer up and down, keeping it at least half an inch away from the fabric. Never make the mistake we made of holding the steamer too close to the garment or targeting one spot for too long as it could damage the velvet. After this, we lightly smoothen and shape the apparel with our hands.
6. Avoid Folding During Storage
Initially, we used to fold our velvet clothes while storing them. Then we observed that folding was leaving creases on them, which were a struggle to remove. Even if we fold, we ensure that we pad the folds with acid-free tissue paper to prevent creasing. It is better to hang velvet clothes instead of folding them.
We make sure to use padded hangers while hanging velvets to protect the fabric from sagging or developing shoulder marks. For long term storage, we always opt for breathable and washable fabric storage bags to prevent any mildew or mould formation.
These simple tips will help you easily take care of your velvets this winter.