How to wash velvet fabrics? (Machine wash & Hand wash)

Quick Answer

A 100% velvet fabric may require dry cleaning, while polyester or crushed velvet can be washed in the washing machine or by hand with cold water and mild detergent. Just make sure to go through the care label to confirm the right method of washing your velvet fabric.

Velvet is a delicate fabric that requires special care when being washed.

A washable velvet fabric is best cleaned by hand in cold water with moderate detergent. However, you can also machine wash them on a gentle cycle (as long as the care label recommends this method), but be sure to use a laundry bag and cold water.

Also, while washing a velvet fabric, consciously avoid using fabric softener and other harsh chemicals, as this can damage the fibers.

Key Takeaways

  • Velvet is a delicate fabric, and it can be tricky to clean because trust me it’s easy to mess up and damage the fabric if you don’t do it properly.
  • There are a few ways to wash velvet fabrics safely and effectively so that they stay looking beautiful for years to come.
  • Most velvet fabrics are suitable to dry clean only while some are washable at home.

What is a velvet fabric in layman’s terms?

Velvet is a soft and plush fabric often made from silk, cotton, linen, or other synthetic materials. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and it is often used for clothing, upholstery, and decorative purposes.

In addition to being used to produce curtains, throws, and other household things, it is also used to manufacture clothing like dresses, coats, shirts, etc.

7 Important things to keep in mind before washing a velvet fabric

1. Check the care label

Since velvet fabric is delicate, it may be tagged “dry clean only,” so it’s important to check the care label before attempting to wash it yourself.

So, if the label specifies that dry cleaning is the only acceptable method of cleaning, it is best to follow that advice and avoid washing the item at all costs.

2. Always use a gentle detergent

Pick a mild detergent made specifically for delicate fabrics and stay away from optical brighteners and bleach, as these can ruin your clothes.

3. Best to hand wash or use a delicate cycle

If the care label specifies that it is safe to be hand washed, you can do so by filling the sink or basin with lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can use a washing machine to wash your velvet clothes by setting the washer to run on the delicate cycle with cold water settings.

4. Do not wring or twist the fabric

Velvet threads do not like when they’re twisted or wrung, as this can damage them.

A lot of the time, you may end up wringing or twisting the fabric in an attempt to get rid of excess water.

Instead, what you can do is gently press the fabric between two towels and let the towel soak up the excess moisture.

5. Dry the fabric by laying it flat

You can dry your velvet fabric in a number of ways, but this one is the safest. Having said that, it’s still better to read the care label to be on the safe side.

So, once you are done with the washing, you can lay the velvet fabric flat and make sure to avoid direct sunlight and any other sources of heat.

Also, you shouldn’t hang the fabric to dry if the fabric is dense and heavy, as this could cause it to stretch.

6. Avoid Ironing Or Iron on a low heat setting

It’s best to avoid ironing velvet fabric, even if the care label allows for it.

However, if you must iron it, do so in a low-heat setting.

While ironing, make sure to place a thin cloth between the iron and the velvet to protect the fabric.

7. Use a laundry bag when machine washing or drying

Laundry bags can be a real blessing when dealing with delicate fabrics like velvet.

If your velvet fabric can be washed or dried in the washing machine, it is best to put it in a mesh laundry bag and then wash or dry it as usual.

Now that you know about the 7 things that you should keep in mind when caring for velvet fabrics, let’s take a quick look at how you can implement the above best practices in a step-by-step manner.

How to wash velvet fabrics by hand?

Velvet is a luxurious fabric that is often used for clothing, upholstery, accessories, and other household items.

Though it is a delicate fabric, it can be washed by hand if the care label allows you to do so.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for washing velvet by hand.

Step 1: Sort your laundry

It’s important to wash velvet separately from other fabrics, especially those that tend to shed lint.

Velvet fabrics have the tendency to attract lint, or tiny fibers shed by other fabrics, during the washing and drying process.

Step 2: Fill a container with cool water

A small amount of mild detergent made for delicate fabrics like velvet should be added to a sink or basin filled with cool water.

Step 3: Add the velvet item

Put the velvet item in a container or sink filled with soapy water and move it around gently to get any dirt or debris out of the fibers.

Step 4: Leave it to settle

Give the velvet fabric one last hand agitation after it has rested for 10 to 15 minutes. If required, work on the stained areas with your fingers.

Step 5: Rinse with clean water

Rinse your velvet garment in cool water until all of the soap has been removed. It is important to thoroughly rinse velvet fabrics to remove all traces of detergent from their fibers (if required, repeat the rinse).

Step 6: Dry your velvet fabric

  • Shake the velvet fabric to remove excess water and make sure to do it in a gentle manner.
  • Next, press excess water from the velvet garment with your hands and lay it flat on a towel to air dry.
  • Be careful and do not wring or twist the velvet as this could damage the delicate fibers.

Note: Always check your clothing’s care label for special instructions as not all velvet fabrics are made the same.

How to wash velvet in a washing machine?

If the care label says “dry clean only,” then take the velvet garment to a professional dry cleaner.

If the care label says “hand wash,” you should wash it using warm water and mild detergent.

Likewise, if the care label explicitly mentions machine washing, you can do so by setting the washer to run on a delicate cycle.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for washing your velvet fabric in the washing machine.

Step 1: Place the fabric in a laundry bag

It is recommended that you use a laundry bag when washing velvet garments, as this can help protect the fabric in the machine.

However, if the fabric says it can be washed in a machine and your machine has a “delicate” setting, you can still get away with it.

So, if you decide to use a laundry bag, make sure it is made from a breathable fabric, such as cotton.

To machine-wash velvet, first put the garment in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from any damage caused by the spinning or agitation of the washing machine.

Step 2: Add a Mild detergent

Pour some mild or natural detergent made for delicate fabrics into the washtub or your washing machine’s detergent tray.

Step 3: Use gentle and low spin settings

The next step is to set the washer to cold water and the delicate or hand-wash cycle settings.

If possible, set the spin speed to the lowest settings and select a shorter duration.

Step 4: Drying

After the wash cycle is finished, remove the velvet garment from the laundry bag and shake it out to get rid of any wrinkles.

Finally, lay the velvet item flat over a soft and dry towel to air dry naturally.

Just be very careful when drying your velvet fabric, as it should be dried right away to avoid damage.

So, the best way to dry a velvet garment is to either hang it in a cool, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or simply lay it flat.

Check the care label for drying instructions, as you may be able to tumble dry on low heat or simply air dry naturally.

Final Thoughts

Always check the label for washing instructions to make sure your velvet stays in great shape for years to come.

The care label is like a guide that tells you the best methods for cleaning and drying your fabric.

If for some reason, the care label has faded or is missing, it’s best to take your velvet fabric to a dry cleaner. Dry cleaning is the safest and most effective way to keep your velvet fabric looking new without damaging the fibers.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)