January 11, 2018 | News & Updates

Post-Holiday Clothing Care: Velvet

The holidays are firmly in our rearview mirrors and we hope that you’re feeling a little more caught up on life. For us, this means cleaning the formal attire of Torontonians, making sure that their suits and dresses have no traces of the holidays left and are ready for their next formal event. Because the holidays tend to bring out some fabrics we don’t see in such high volume other times of year, like velvet, now is a great time to pass along some friendly clothing care tips from your Toronto dry cleaner.

Velvet tends to pop up in the winter every year, but because most people are unfamiliar with its care, the fabric can cause some frustration. Most of the time, when someone wrecks their velvet garments, the underlying source is a lack of knowledge about the fabric itself, so here’s a quick rundown.

What is velvet?

Velvet is often made up of rayon, acetate, silk, or a blend and is woven on a double action loom. Two layers are woven at the same time and then the space between these fabrics are interlaced with connecting yarns. Next, the two layers are cut apart when they come off the loom, creating two pieces of fabric, each with an upright pile surface. You could even think of it a little like a much more delicate and tighter shag carpet. That soft feeling you get when you touch velvet is a result of the tiny upright pile. Finally, finishes are often applied to keep that pile sticking up to maintain the fabric’s body and also to help the velvet become more resilient.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, sadly, a lot. Velvet is so much fun because of its unique pile effect, but that pile can easily flatten, mat together, pill, tuft, or shrink. In other words, it doesn’t age well. Moisture combined with improper care will flatten velvet quickly and for anyone with the too-commonly held belief that stains only need to be moistened and blotted, velvet will suffer.

Your best bet is to have a professional clean your velvet. Because velvet is often associated with special occasions, you likely won’t need to send your favourite velvet items to the cleaner very often, so trust us that it’s worth it.

In the meantime, hang your velvet garments up in a well-ventilated closet and never iron them. If you currently have an item left over from the holidays, schedule to have Parkers Custom Clothing Care come and pick it up at no extra charge.

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