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How To Wash Velvet

Washing velvet in basin

Velvet is an opulent, textured fabric perfect for a night out on the town and the winter holidays, but it has increasingly carved out a place for itself in our daytime wardrobes. While many of us have no reservations about integrating this fabric into our wardrobes, when it comes to washing velvet, we're not as confident. So we've compiled tips to take care of velvet and to keep your velvet items!

"Can You Wash Velvet?" Our clients often ask us this question, along with "How to Wash Velvet?" and "Can You Put Velvet In The Dryer?"

Can you wash velvet? 

Whether it is crushed velvet or pure velvet, it's possible to care for velvet garments without the dry cleaner. Be sure to check the tag of your velvet item before proceeding with laundering. For items tagged "Dry Clean Only" or "Do Not Wash", it's best to avoid laundering unless absolutely necessary.

When laundering washable velvet, always pretreat stains with a stain remover for delicates. Focus on susceptible areas such as underarms, necklines, and cuffs.

Spot & Steam

To clean velvet items that are non-launderable, such as blazers, suiting, and upholstery, clean by steaming or spot-treating only. Always perform a water test before proceeding with spot-treating velvet. This will help determine if the velvet can tolerate water exposure.

To spot treat, wet the area with a damp cloth, and add a drop or two of your preferred delicate stain remover. Gently work into the stained area(s) using a soft Stain Brush. Remove soap and dirt with a clean, wet cotton cloth and be sure to remove all soap before drying. Dampen the cloth as needed, and repeat the process until satisfied.

To steam, gently pass a fabric steamer over your velvet item to release residue and freshen.


Handwashing is generally the best method for washing velvet, as it allows for the most control over agitation. Add your preferred detergent (we love our Delicate Wash for items like eveningwear) to a washbasin or sink filled with cool water. Submerge the item and gently agitate the water to evenly distribute soap. Soak for up to 30 minutes.

Rinse well by running water through the item until the water is no longer soapy. Do not wring or twist. Instead, gently press the water out of the item.

Machine Wash

For washable velvet garments, first turn the item inside out and place it in a Mesh Washing Bag. Select the delicate cycle on the washing machine, and make sure the water temperature is cold and the spin is on low. Add the appropriate amount of your delicate detergent according to the machine and load size.

Machine wash with like colors and fabrics only, and be sure to remove from the washing drum promptly after laundering.

Setting dryer temp on machine
Dry & Finish

Lay the item flat or hang to dry. To prevent a warped or crushed appearance on dry velvet, put in the dryer on the "fluff" setting. It can also be helpful to gently brush clean, dry velvet with a clothing brush to restore appearance.

Steam after washing to remove wrinkles. Never iron, as ironing will crush or flatten the natural pile. 

To freshen items between wears, gently steam velvet with a fabric steamer. To remove lint and fuzz from velvet clothing, use a fine garment brush . 

Cohabiting with lovable, furry pets? Use your garment brush to eliminate fur and pet hair from velvet upholstery. This method helps avoid single-use paper rollers and works more efficiently to remove hair.

Store & Maintain

A velvet item such as a skirt or dress can be hung on a hanger; however, be mindful of clips because they can leave marks on the material. If items must be hung using a clip hanger, place a cloth or paper towel underneath the clip for protection.

Velvet can attract dust and lint, so be sure to regularly brush velvet pieces with a clothing brush to remove unwanted residue.

Always store items clean. We recommend storing in a breathable cotton hanging garment bag with a zippered closure to protect items from bugs. Storing in plastic can encourage yellowing and trap mildew-causing moisture, a prime environment for bugs. 

All techniques are based on textile science. Not all garments perform and react as science would predict.