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Millo Blog

Velvet Care Guide

Velvet Care Guide

For the love and care of velvet

Origins of Velvet

While we can’t be completely certain of the origins of velvet, it seems universally agreed that it originated somewhere in the far east in the 13th century. By the time of the Italian Renaissance, velvet was appearing in other parts of the world. 

In the past, velvets were made of pure silk and came in rich, royal colors. Due to the high production costs before the advent of modern industrial looms, they were only affordable to the wealthy and royal families. Velvet's capacity to retain deep colors made it an appealing choice for royal ceremonies and events, which conveyed a message of opulence. Although modern industrial looms have made velvet production more affordable, its association with luxury has endured over time.

How velvet is made

Velvet stands out for its distinctive qualities, starting with its intricate weaving process. Unlike linen, a flat-woven fabric, velvet is not limited to a specific fiber and demands a larger quantity of yarn and several more steps to manufacture. These additional procedures are responsible for velvet's fascinating and exceptional texture.

Initially, the yarn is interwoven on a loom amidst two layers of backing, fastened together by a second warp thread. Subsequently, the material is cut in half, producing two identical pieces, each exhibiting a raised "pile," a dense accumulation of fuzzy hairlike threads that project vertically. This "pile" contributes to velvet's plushness and heightened texture, creating a unique and visually appealing appearance that reacts to touch, resulting in a dynamic and mutable surface.

Made to last, with care

It's easy to assume velvet is fragile or requires a lot of attention. However, with proper care, velvets can endure in the household for a very long time. When sitting on velvet furniture, you may notice that the pile can become ruffled and marked. While some people prefer this "crushed" look, it's worth noting that the pile will eventually revert to its original form on its own, but you can also use a soft brush or steam to gently smooth it out. By taking care of your velvet Millo cover, you can keep them looking great for a long time.

Here are our top tips to help you keep your velvet covers to look fresh, and age gracefully over time:

  • Remove dust regularly using a soft brush, or if you have one on your vacuum cleaner; the upholstery attachment
  • Keep velvet out of harsh, direct sunlight to protect rich or vibrant hues from fading.
  • Simply turning, shaking or moving cushions can help velvet to avoid the little wrinkles and pressure marks that arise from sitting in the same place for too long, or being sat upon for too long. The longer a wrinkle is in place, the harder it is to remove.
  • Use a steamer to remove wrinkles or to liven up flat or ‘squashed’ areas. The steamer will gently loosen up the fibres, and lightly brushing in the direction of the pile will lift and restore.
  • Catch spills and stains early by blotting (do not rub or apply pressure) and cleaning quickly with a gentle sponge or cloth. 

We love our velvet, and we hope you do too. We believe that by understanding velvet and by taking that little bit of regular care and extra attention you’ll see that they age with grace and elegance. When in doubt, please consult our Care Guide.