Q: Is there any way to correct damage to the pile on velvet? A:
Velvet requires special care. Velvet fabrics containing acetate can be damaged during wear and/or cleaning. Spills from any liquids containing moisture, such as beverages, soups, or even plain water, can permanently flatten the velvet pile. These spills should be noted at the front counter. If possible, the customer should be made aware that the damage is permanent and cannot be corrected with any further cleaning or stain removal procedures.
Stain removal agents that contain moisture will also flatten velvet pile. Dry-side stain removal procedures should be performed on the pile or “fuzzy” side of the fabric to prevent damage to the pile. During finishing, care must also be taken not to touch or brush the fabric while it is wet with steam. This will cause the pile to flatten and look “shiny” in these areas. It should be noted that not all velvets are made from acetate fibers and not all are susceptible to flattening. For instance, unlike velvet, velveteen fabrics made from cotton or polyester cotton blends are not flattened by the use of wetside stain removal agents or brushing during steam finishing.
For more information, please see TABS 375 in the DLI Online Encyclopedia of Drycleaning.