Once only available to the rich and royal, velvet has long been considered luxurious… yet also expensive and high maintenance. Oh how times have changed! Today’s velvet is affordable, durable and easy to clean, making it one of the best choices in furniture upholstery. And keeping your velvet crush alive is as easy as the occasional warm sponge and vacuum.
✅ Before use, we recommend applying a fabric-protection treatment on the upholstery, as you would with any beloved fabric furniture.
✅ Avoid positioning your velvet furniture in direct sunlight as it may fade the fabric.
✅ Vacuum your sofa once a week or fortnight with an upholstery brush to remove any dust and environmental debris from the fabric and under the seat cushions. Dust and grime can mark the fabric and be harder to clean if left for long periods.
✅ In case of spills, such as wine, blot away the excess liquid with a paper towel, then gently wipe over with a warm, damp sponge.
✅ Do not use detergents, bleach or cleaning chemicals as they could mark the fabric and will void the warranty on your sofa.
✅ To keep your velvet looking its best for years to come, we recommend an annual in-home dry cleaning — leave the covers on.
✅ Rotate the cushions regularly and ‘beat them up’ to help them retain their shape — the kids or grandkids will love this job!
1 It looks luxurious. Once very expensive to produce, velvet is forever woven with its reputation for luxury. Silky smooth and soft to touch, it ups the luxe in every room.
2 It’s incredibly durable. All of our velvet is made from polyester as it’s super strong, more resistant to staining and snagging, and very suitable for family living. Just give it a quick vac with an upholstery brush once a week to bust the dust.
3 It works with every style. Whether a velvet chair with an industrial table or velvet sofa in a French provincial living room, there’s no wrong way to pair velvet. It goes with everything.
4 It’s easy to clean and maintain. No one need cry over spilled wine again! With polyester velvet, you can blot away the excess liquid with a paper towel, then gently wipe over with a warm, damp sponge. Simples.
5 It comes in glamorous colours. Available in a range of vibrant jewel tones, furnishings are all the more ravishing in velvet. Keep pieces out of direct sunlight to avoid any fading so they look glamtastic for years to come.
What to know more? Join us on the exotic history of velvet…
Ever since Cleopatra reclined on her velvet chaise to be fed grapes by Mark Antony, velvet has had the power to infuse an immediate air of opulence to a room, unlike any other fabric. Originating in ancient cultures where it was hand-woven from the silk extracted by mulberry-munching moths, velvet has long carried the reputation of being difficult to produce, high-maintenance, fragile and expensive.
But just as you’d expect of a thread painstakingly extracted from silkworm cocoons and transported thousands of miles across continents in the 13th century, it was very expensive and only accessible to the privileged few. It was only the likes of those such as Henry VIII (who was pretty much the Donald Trump of the 1500s) who could afford to line their lavatories in velvet… and that he did.
In the 1400–1500s, Venice and Florence were the major velvet centres in Europe and their fabrics were highly prized. The craftspeople were often forbidden from leaving the cities where they worked in order to guard their silky secrets against the stiff competition of neighbouring precincts.
These velvets — made from pure silk, dyed in royal colours and embroidered with fine silver thread — sent a message: they were only for the ridiculously wealthy. Monarchs and aristocrats engaged velvet tradies to weave family emblems and other snazzy swag. Could this be a possible explanation for the Mona Lisa smirk… she’s feeling a tad swank in her top-to-toe velvet gown imported via the Silk Road of the backdrop behind her?
Nevertheless, the association with luxury and glamour stuck and was transported right into the modern day. Suddenly sofas, cushions, curtains and even tracksuits became available for all — inseparably stitched to the luscious air of opulence.
Further innovations in textiles over recent decades have witnessed a new player in velvet production: polyester. Very durable, easy to clean and silky soft, polyester velvet doesn’t pill or wrinkle like its silk counterpart yet still has the sumptuous sheen. At Early Settler, all of our velvet products are polyester velvet. This is because it’s one of the most ideal choices for furniture upholstery and is very easy to maintain.