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The Good and The Bad: Velvet Upholstery Fabric

   
 
Velvet is a fabric that is commonly used in furniture upholstery and is also occasionally used for curtains and other upholstered items. If you are considering using velvet in your next upholstery design project, consider the following pros and cons first.

The Good
Velvet has a very luxurious feel that is considered by many to give off a welcoming allure. For this reason, many people like designs that incorporate velvet. It is commonly used in homes, in hotels, in retail locations, and in restaurants. Velvet comes in a wide range of colors and styles and is therefore suitable for a range of applications.

Velvet has a fairly soft touch, which is another advantage and is another reason that many like to incorporate it into designs. Velvet is double-woven, which results in a luxurious feel that many find very attractive.

The Bad
Although velvet may be a very sound choice stylistically, it does have some logistical drawbacks. First and foremost, velvet is a relatively difficult fabric to clean and maintain. Velvet, which is also used for clothing, is recommended by manufacturers to be cleaned by dry-cleaning, particularly if a stain finds its way onto the fabric. The trouble is that when velvet is being used as upholstery, it’s not possible to dry clean. The next best thing for those who have velvet upholstered pieces is to use a vacuum and a steam cleaner to remove stains. This is not the most effective method of removing stains, but it does work sometimes.

The other major downside to velvet as an upholstery fabric is that it does not have the longest lifespan. Velvet tends to buckle under the pressure of wear and tear rather quickly. The soft surface of the fabric, if not treated with gentle care, can become matted. Velvet is also known to fade.

If fabric fades or is matted, unfortunately, there is not much that one can do other than replace the fabric. For this reason, velvet may not be suitable for busy areas, in homes with pets or small children, or in places where the owner does not want to spend time and money maintaining the furniture piece.

When weighing the pros and cons of velvet as an upholstery fabric, it’s also useful to consider your specific uses for the fabric should you choose to use it. For example, what room will the piece with velvet upholstery go in? How often will the piece be used? Given where it will be placed, how difficult will it be for you to occasionally clean it? Moreover, how will its location lead to the necessity to clean it more often? If you're putting a velvet piece in a room where it will not be used terribly often and will not be vulnerable to frequent spills, you will probably have a fine time incorporating the piece into your space. However, if you are planning to use velvet for dining room chairs in a home with a lot of traffic from kids, you may want to reconsider.
 
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