How To Wash Velvet, Because The Luxurious Fabric Is Tricky

Nothing screams fall and winter like transitioning your wardrobe to your warmer clothing. It's time to say goodbye to breezy linen and cotton and hello to chunky knits and cozy velvet jackets. It's definitely important to know how to wash velvet when you're pulling out all your clothes that have been in storage for the summer.

Velvet is having a major moment this fall and will be everywhere by winter. The luxurious fabric makes a statement no matter how you wear it, and brands have been releasing the cutest velvet pieces in preparation. Celebs are already in on the trend, of course, including Kristen Stewart and Lily Allen, whose gorgeous pink velvet Chanel coat definitely makes a statement.

If you are considering investing in a new velvet item for your wardrobe, it's super important to know how to clean the luxurious fabric. According to the Guardian , there's a bunch of different ways to clean fabric depending on the type of velvet you buy.

As far as fabrics go, velvet is definitely one of the more difficult ones to deal with. When you buy a velvet piece for your wardrobe, be sure to check the label before you buy. After your purchase, follow these simple tips to keep it clean.

1. Dry Cleaning Is Always A Good Idea

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In Real Simple's guide to dry cleaning, they say velvet is one of the most common fabrics you'll need to dry clean. The most expensive type of velvet is pure velvet, which is an acetate and viscose blend. The cleaning instructions on your label depend on the type of velvet you buy, but if you invested in an expensive piece, dry clean it just to be safe.

2. Some Velvets Are OK To Machine Wash

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Your clothing labels will give you guidance on whether or not you can machine wash something. Typically, crushed velvet and polyester-blend velvets will be good to go, according to Overstock.com, but that's not a guarantee. Velvet items are typically stretchy, so avoiding washing in hot water if you don't want your clothes to shrink.

3. Try Natural Stain Removers

If you stain a velvet item but don't want to take it to the store to be dry cleaned, it's often worth it to clean the stain at home. You can buy a bottle of dry clean solvent, but the chemicals in those products are a little bit questionable. According to Apartment Therapy, velvet-upholstered furniture can be cleaned naturally with a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice. The two stain-fighting ingredients combined can help remove tough stains. Make sure you use a very diluted version of this solution and test it on a small patch of your clothing first.

4. Get Yourself A Steamer

PureSteam Fabric Steamer, $30, A mazon

This handy guide to cleaning your vintage velvet gives some great tips about how to remove the stains from a vintage dress using simple detergent and some water. But the best tip is the one to use a steamer to freshen the dress. This is great for when you want to remove wrinkles, but don't feel like taking a dress to the cleaners. Spritz with fabric freshening spray afterward, and you'll have no problem.

5. Avoid The Iron

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Velvet's texture is different than almost any other fabric, and that's because it has what's called a "pile." A pile is the tiny fibers you feel when you when you run your hand over a piece of velvet clothing. Although heat can be good for refreshing velvet fabric, never iron it, even using the steam feature. The iron can crush the pile and completely ruin your clothing.

These tips will help you out, but don't forget to read the care label on any piece of velvet clothing you buy.

Images: PetitePanoply/Flickr; ASOS, Alberto Núñez/Flickr