Cleaning And Maintaining Your Silk Velvet Drapes

Posted on: 22 February 2016

From adding color and texture for decorative purposes to insulating your windows against the harsh temperatures of summer and winter, it is easy to see the importance of window treatments. While valances, blinds, and shutters are common options, opting for classic draperies in elegant fabrics is a great way to add personality to your home. Considering silk velvet was first used thousands of years ago in China and Egypt, using these elegant draperies is a choice that will stand the test of time. Of course, proper cleaning and care is essential. Using this guide, you can clean and maintain your silk drapes, ensuring they remain durable and appealing for many years to come.

Weekly Maintenance

A simple cleaning of your drapes each week will prevent heavy buildup of dirt and debris. In addition, this weekly vacuuming will prevent discoloration and stains.

To get started, use the handheld attachment on your vacuum to suction away dirt, dust, hair, dander, and other allergens form the material. Use your attachment that offers a soft-bristled spinning brush to remove the debris in a gentle manner, preventing damage to the silk fibers of your velvet curtain panels.

With the draperies still on the curtain rod, start at the top of each panel and work your way down to the bottom. Repeat over the entire panel before beginning on the second set of drapes.

Involved Cleaning

If you do not vacuum the drapes weekly, you may develop a heavier buildup of dirt and dust. In addition, you may notice an unappealing odor from smoking and cooking in the home. Thankfully, removing the debris and odor is possible by following these simple hand-washing steps:

  1. Fill your bath tub with warm water and add 3 teaspoons of gentle laundry detergent.
  2. Vacuum each velvet panel before removing from the curtain rod.
  3. Soak the panel in the tub for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Use your hands to move the silk velvet draperies around in the soapy solution. Do not scrub the panels, but use gentle motions to ensure they are becoming clean.
  5. While draining your bath tub, rinse each panel under the faucet. Do not use hot water while rinsing, since this may damage the material.
  6. After rinsing, gather the drapery panel into a ball and squeeze to remove excess water. Do not wring or twist the material.
  7. Lay each panel on a flat surface covered with a towel. Roll the towel and panel up together so the towel can absorb any leftover water. Repeat with each curtain panel.
  8. Unroll your silk velvet panels and hang on a rack to air dry.
  9. Allow the draperies to dry for a few hours before rehanging on your curtain rod.

Stain Remover

Stains on your furniture and carpet are common, but you may be surprised at the sight of a stain on your drapes. While it may be alarming, removing stains and discoloration from your silk velvet drapes is possible.

Combine 2 cups of warm water with ½ cup of white vinegar. Mix and soak a microfiber cloth in the solution. Wring out the liquid from the cloth before use. Test the vinegar solution on a small, insignificant corner of your silk velvet drapes before using on the stain. If no damage or discoloration occurs, it is safe to use on a larger area of your silk velvet panels.

Use the soaked cloth to remove the stain form your curtain panel. Do not scrub, but use gentle washing motions. The vinegar will wash away any stain or discoloration without harming the gentle nature of your silk velvet panel. After removing the stain, rinse the area with lukewarm water and allow to air dry before rehanging.

The unique sheen and vintage feel of silk velvet offers a classic look for your home. Using this guide, you can clean these drapes in a safe, effective manner.   

For more information or advice on how to use these draperies in your home, talk with an interior designer.


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When I bought my first home, I realized that it needed a lot of work. Instead of sinking money into my wardrobe or going out to eat, I spent a bunch of money fixing up the outside of my house and thinking about interior renovations. However, when it came time to renovate my home, I realized that it might be best to do a little research first. I started attending home and garden seminars to learn easy ways to make my space more functional and attractive. The results were incredible. Within a few months, my home looked a thousand times better. Check out this blog to find out how to perfect your home and garden.

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