Washing Tips

How to Wash Velvet Clothes – Understanding the Cleaning, Washing, Drying, Folding & Storing of Velvet Dresses

Velvet is one of the most unique and exotic fabrics made by tufting the yarn into a woven layer – creating a distinctive plushy feeling when stroked. It’s been a part of fashion history dating back to the 18th century.

Originally, velvet was made from silk and only a few countries mastered the art of creating it, which made velvet fabrics highly expensive and exotic. They were worn mainly by popes, bishops, and kings as a symbol of higher status, wealth, and power. Velvet is now made from cotton, linen, wool, and other synthetic fibers but they are considered exotic and glamorous fabrics even today.

Woman wearing a crisscross purple velvet dress with adorable crinkle sleeves

Velvet dresses are making a comeback in the fashion industry all thanks to celebrities and social media influencers for flaunting their velvet tracksuits, velvet gowns, and velvet dresses.

Getting a velvet dress may be the easiest part of shopping but their upkeep – is not so easy. Velvet dresses have delicate wash times, require proper washing techniques, and must be handled carefully.

So, if you have followed the trend and got yourself a plushy velvet dress, you might be thinking if you can wash velvet in the washing machine or how to clean velvet dress at home.

Read this guide to understand everything from how to wash velvet dresses to storing them in your closet.

Woman holding a dress label with washing instructions and symbols

How to Wash a Velvet Dress - Read Label First

Velvet comes in different types and different varieties. Some are 100% pure velvet made from a blending ratio of acetate and viscose. Others made from cotton, linen, or synthetic fibers may be fine knit, stretchy knit, or can be crushed velvet.

This makes it challenging to decide how to wash a velvet dress but the answer lies in the labels. Read the label on the velvet dress which has clear details and instructions on the type of fabric, and the kind of care that it requires. This will help you decide how to wash your velvet clothes.

Let’s get into the details of each method.

How to Wash a Velvet Dress

Apply a Stain Remover

If it’s not time for washing your velvet dress but you have one or few stains on it, then it’s smarter to work with the stains than to wash the entire dress. You can use a stain remover from the market that’s made for delicate fabrics or you can make your own stain remover at home.

This is how you can clean a velvet dress at home:

  • Spray a generous amount on the stained area of your velvet dress.
  • Making sure the fabric is damp enough but not completely wet.
  • Take a white cloth or a white towel.
  • Gently dab on the stained area until the stain is gone.
  • Do not rub against your fabric as it will ruin the velvet.
How to wash velvet

Go for Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is one of the safest options if you really want your velvet dress cleaned. You can either go for professional dry cleaning as they know how to clean velvet clothes or you can buy a dry cleaning kit from the market. Either of the options will cost you but it’s a small mock-off price to pay for keeping your velvet dress in good shape.

Use the Steam and Clean Method

Another easy-to-do and safe method to wash a velvet dress are to use the steam and clean method. Apply steam all over the dress and gently stroke the fabric in a downward motion using a brush. This will remove all dust and dirt from the velvet. Complete your wash with a fabric freshener to give it a fresh feel.

Try these methods for steaming:

  • Hang the dress in the bathroom when you are taking a steamy bath.
  • Use a steamer explicitly made for clothes.
  • Boil water in a kettle and use the steam from the kettle.
  • Use a steam iron but make sure your iron plate is at least 3 to 5 inches away from the fabric.

Do a Quick Hand Wash

Some velvet dresses are delicate for the washing machine but they can handle water. Your dress label can be a good guide in understanding how to clean a velvet dress. If your dress label mentions hand washing, you can wash your velvet dress by hand.

Contrary to the belief that warm water removes dirt better than cold water, many fabrics shrink when washed in hot water – velvet is one of them. So here’s what you should do.

  • Fill a tub with cold water.
  • Add liquid detergent.
  • Soak the velvet dress in the tub for 5 mins.
  • Gently dab the dress while still in the water.
  • Throw the detergent water.
  • Rinse once or twice with cold water.
  • Hang in the bathroom until all the water drips off.

Use a Washing Machine

If your label instructions on how to wash velvet clothes allow using a washing machine, there are a few things you should do before tossing the dress in the machine – taking a few extra cautions is better than getting a good dress ruined. Here’s what you should do:

  • Turn your dress inside out to minimize damage.
  • Make sure your washing machine is clean – Use True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets.
  • Set your wash cycle to delicate and timer to lowest/quickest wash.
  • Use a liquid detergent or dissolve the detergent in the water first.
  • Do not use the spinner in the washing machine if your setting allows it.
  • Remove your dress from the machine immediately after washing.
Woman hand washing a white velvet dress in a blue tub of detergent water

How to Dry a Velvet Dress

Now that you know how to wash a velvet dress, it’s time to get it dry. If you have used a stain remover, dry cleaning, or steam cleaning method, all you do is hang the dress on a hanger and place it in a well-ventilated room for air drying. 

If you have hand-washed your velvet dress or washed it in a washing machine, hang it in the bathroom first to let all the water drip out from the dress. Then you can hang it in a well-ventilated room for air drying.

This method will dry the velvet dress back to its original plush and shine without getting any wrinkles.

Do’s and Don'ts of Drying a Velvet Dress

  • Don’t use a spinner in the washing machine
  • Do drain the water when in the washing machine.
  • Don’t squeeze the water out of the dress.
  • Do hang it in the bathroom to drip out water.
  • Don’t use a machine dryer – heat will damage the fabric.

Do hang in a room to allow air drying.

Woman wearing a navy blue velvet dress with buttons at the back.

How to Fold & Store a Velvet Dress

You are almost done with cleaning, washing, and drying the velvet dress. Now the final part of the entire process is folding and storing your velvet dress. We highly recommend that you place your dress on a hanger that is padded with foam. This will stop the hanger from damaging the dress or making any creases on the dress.

If you don’t plan to wear your velvet dress any time soon and want to store it away for the next season – put your velvet dress in a plastic bag and put it flat in your storage area without folding.

This will keep your dress ready to wear for next time and also avoid damage caused in the storage. But if your storage space is small and folding is the last option, fold it once while it’s still in the plastic bag and avoid placing anything over it.

That’s basically all.

Velvet dresses are absolutely stunning to wear but they certainly need a different kind of pampering compared to the other dresses. Might we say, they may even cause a feeling of jealousy amongst the other clothes in your wardrobe but that’s how velvet is – exotic and delicate?

Take care of your velvet dresses with these tips to keep them forever shiny and in good shape.

You may also want to read 20 Things You Can Wash in Your Washing Machine. Some of the things will really surprise you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you wash velvet in the washing machine?

A: Yes, but only if the label on your velvet dress allows washing it in the washing machine. The safest option is dry cleaning or using a stain remover to get rid of spots.

Q: How to wash a velvet dress in a washing machine?

A: Make sure your washing machine is clean – use True Fresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets. Set your wash cycle to delicate and timer to quickest wash. Use cold to avoid shrinkage. Turn your dress inside out for minimum abrasion.

Q: Can you dry velvet clothes in machine dryers/tumble dryers?

A: No, the heat and air movement of the machine dryer will shrink the velvet and damage the fibers.

Q: What is the best way to dry velvet clothes and remove wrinkles?

A: Put the velvet clothes on a padded hanger to avoid getting damaged or creasing. If the clothes are too wet, hang them in the bathroom to let the water drip out of the clothes. Then hang them in a well-ventilated room for air drying.

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