The word "quilt" is derived from the Latin word culcita, which means a stuffed sack, mattress, or cushion. A quilt is a bedspread or blanket made of two layers that is filled with a material, such as cotton, wool, feathers, or down, and is stitched together, usually in a decorative design. A velvet quilt is a quilt whose outside fabric is made of velvet.
Velvet is a tufted fabric whose short and dense pile is cut evenly, giving it a special feel that is unique to velvet. Velvet can be made form any fiber. The smooth and silky feel of velvet combined with the coziness of a quilt is a combination hard to resist. Velvet quilts come in all the normal quilt designs and styles, including velvet quilts with applique work, patch work, and brocade work.
To care for your velvet quilt and to ensure the maximum life of the velvet, avoid placing your quilt in direct light. Light, both sunlight and artificial, can have negative effects on the dyes in your quilt fabrics, especially in older quilt fabrics which were dyed with natural dyes or early forms of synthetic dyes which are not colorfast.
To clean your velvet quilt, first vacuum it by passing a low-suction vacuum over it. The older the quilt, the more careful you should be, using a handheld vacuum on the lowest setting. Newer and stronger quilt fabrics can withstand more. You should also occasionally shampoo your velvet quilt fabrics when you notice dirt build-up.
Because velvet is often made of rayon or acetate, which are dry clean only, it is important to determine what fabric your velvet quilt is made from before attempting to clean it. Do not wash a dry clean only material. If you determine that your velvet quilt is made from a fabric that can be washed, such as cotton, you can clean the velvet quilt. Many new velvet quilts can be machine washed; make sure to check your quilt label for specifics. If you decide to hand wash your velvet quilt, beware that there are certain risks in shampooing a quilt. As mentioned, quilt fabrics, especially older ones, are often not dyed with colorfast dyes, which can result in color bleeding or fading if not properly cleaned. For these reasons, it is a good idea to have an old and valuable quilt cleaned by a professional company which has experience cleaning quilts.
If you do decide to clean your quilt fabrics on your own, make sure to first do a "Color Fastness Test" by shampooing an inconspicuous area of the velvet quilt first and looking for any color bleeding or fading. Shampoo your fabric with cool water and soap or rug shampoo. It is also advisable to fold a clean white towel over this area of the quilt fabric and place it between the inconspicuous area of the quilt mentioned above and a light weight, then looking at the white towel for signs of color transfer. If both of these methods show no signs of color bleeding or transfer, it is safe to proceed and clean the rest of your velvet quilt. Push firmly, but not too strongly with the palm of your hand or with a non-shedding cellulose sponge. Then rinse your velvet quilt well with plain water, squeeze all the water out, and leave it to dry.
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| November 21, 2017
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