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The ultimate guide to velvet upholstery: durability, cleaning and colours

Velvet is synonymous with luxury and opulence. Associated throughout history with royalty, this deliciously soft and tactile material might not be the obvious choice for a family sofa. But it turns out velvet is significantly more practical than you might think.

In this blog post, we’re exploring some of the questions around the use of velvet in the home, including how to clean it and which colours to choose.

Why choose velvet upholstery?

Few fabrics can deliver an instant hit of luxury and cosiness in the way that velvet can. Sinking into the comfort of a gorgeously soft velvet sofa is like being welcomed with a great big hug!

Velvet not only brings tactile qualities into your home, it also has a subtle but luxurious sheen which provides a pleasing textural and visual contrast.

In addition, the opulent look of velvet is associated with some of the world’s most glamorous restaurants. Think button-back upholstered banquettes and stylish bar stools. Adding a velvet sofa to your scheme is a great way to elevate your interior and introduce a touch of luxury.

Related Read: The sensory delight of velvet upholstery

Is velvet upholstery durable?

OK, so we’ve established that velvet sofas are super luxe and oh-so-desirable. But how do they stand up to the wear and tear of daily life? Velvet can be seen as a delicate fabric with a raised pile that could easily be crushed or stained. However, a velvet sofa can, in fact, be surprisingly hard-wearing.

While velvet used to be made from silk or cotton, today’s velvets are often comprised of a combination of different materials. Velvets incorporating some synthetic fibres can be particularly durable. And although a velvet sofa might not seem like a natural choice for a family home, it can actually withstand a significant amount of wear.

FibreGuard’s velvet upholstery incorporates stain-resistant technology which makes it very easy to clean and maintain. Any spills can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth and then left to air dry. And these stain-free properties won’t deteriorate after washing or heavy use, meaning that your velvet sofa can last for decades.

Related read: Everything you need to know about velvet furnishing fabrics

Our top tips for cleaning velvet sofa fabric

Life happens. Things get spilt. But there’s no need to panic when you have an accidental spillage on your velvet sofa. Even with potentially tricky substances like red wine, coffee and milk, it’s not difficult to keep your velvet sofa in tip-top condition. Just follow our simple cleaning steps…

  • If you spill something like ketchup, chocolate or mayonnaise on your velvet sofa, scrape off the worst of it with a teaspoon. For other stains like coffee or ink, you can move straight to step 2.
  • Apply water to the stain and blot using a sheet of paper towel. Repeat the process until you can’t see the stain on the paper towel anymore.
  • Apply more water to the stain and rub gently in circular motions with a microfibre cloth. For stubborn stains, rub the mark with a bar of white house soap and then repeat the cloth stage.
  • Leave to air dry. Et voila! The stain has gone!

Related Read: How to clean FibreGuard fabrics

The best colours for velvet sofas

Popular colours for velvet sofas right now include chalky pinks, earth-toned browns and bright yellows, as well as patterned styles featuring geometrics or florals. Here at FibreGuard HQ, we’re particularly partial to vibrant yellow sofas because that’s what we have at our offices. Nothing like a blast of sunshine yellow to wake you up on a Monday morning!

But if paler colours such as cream or beige are more your thing, you can invest in a velvet sofa with confidence. That’s because FibreGuard’s stain-resistant fabrics allow even light-coloured sofas to become a practical choice for you and your family.

When it comes to brown sofas – a hot trend for 2024 – velvet is the perfect choice because the fabric’s luxurious sheen takes the colour from dowdy to glamorous. Browns not only reference the colours of the natural world, they tie in with the trend for nostalgia, making a nod to classic Seventies shades.

“This year we’ve seen a real rise in popularity for sofas that celebrate texture such as bouclé and some bold pattern in monochrome, caramels, burnt toffees, and natural hues and this looks set to be the same for next year. With a high percentage of us still using the home as our workplace too, the shift towards natural colour palettes ensures that we can seamlessly transition from work to relaxation mood.” – British interior designer and retailer Abigail Ahern

There are another two key colours which keep cropping up in trend forecasts – but more of those later in this blog! One thing’s for sure, the world is your oyster when picking out colours from the FibreGuard velvet range. Choose from plush velvets, embossed velvets and chenilles available in a wide variety of colours from jewel tones to timeless neutrals.

Related Read: Embracing brown: The top interior design trends for 2024

Upholstery trends: velvet armchairs

While we all love a velvet sofa, velvet armchairs are also big news this season. Curved shapes with a simple, wraparound style are proving popular to create a cosy cocoon for one. And in a continuation of the fluted trend which has been everywhere in interior design, we’re seeing velvet armchairs with fluted detailing which gives a pleasing sense of vertical stripes.

When it comes to colour, a single velvet armchair gives you the permission to choose a bolder tone than usual because it won’t dominate your living room like a sofa. Why not choose a strong shade of burgundy or teal to make a real style statement?

Upholstery trends: green and black velvet

So we’ve already touched on some colour choices for your dreamily-soft velvet sofa, but we’ve saved the best two til last. You’ve heard it here first. Two of the hottest colours for 2024 are going to be green and black.

Green is the queen of versatility. An emerald or jade green velvet sofa brings a delicious jewel-like shade into your interior and ties in brilliantly with a maximalist vibe. Whereas a gentler moss or sage green aligns with the trend for bringing the outside in, and pairs perfectly with other nature-inspired colours such as muddy brown or berry red.

“The texture, hue and depth of a rich velvet gives a certain luxuriousness to a living space that cannot always be achieved with other fabrics. Paired with the versatility of a green colour palette that spans from rich jades to forest greens, a green velvet sofa can offer something decadent or soothing.” – Francesca Hadland, interiors expert at furniture company Bridgman

Now, although black might not be everyone’s first choice, it’s actually one of the most versatile colours you could choose for your velvet sofa. Black goes with everything, makes a statement, and brings a cool, moody vibe to your home. We advise fully embracing the dark side by combining your black velvet sofa with stylish wood accessories, antique brass, and rich tones such as olive green or claret.

To sum up, a velvet sofa can be a practical choice, despite its reputation as a luxury, ‘delicate’ fabric. With the right care, velvet can be the perfect low-maintenance option, bringing a welcome sensory richness into your home.

With FibreGuard's durable and easy-to-clean velvet upholstery, you can have the elegant and stylish look you desire without sacrificing function. No matter what colour or style you choose, you can rely on FibreGuard to make your life easier and more beautiful.

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