What is going on with this velvet on my settee?

three3applesApril 17, 2014

I am having this fabric protected next week. In the meantime I am unaware of anyone drinking a beverage while sitting on this furniture. But, there is a spit that is raised and darker. It's almost like the nap of it is higher and the fibers are slightly different here. No matter how you rub it this spot remains. Might it be stained or ruined? What should I do? Thanks!

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We had our dining room chairs reupholstered in a Schumacher velvet ($300+ per yard) and the fabric was useless. One chair was completely ruined when one of the kids spilled plain old water on it. It changed the color and nap. Chairs had to be re-reupholstered in something that could actually be used! That Schumacher fabric was rated for upholstery, but should only be used on a pretty throw pillow at the most.

Did you ever do a water test on your sample of the velvet? Do you still have a sample? If you do, spill water on half of it, blot it up and see how it dries. I started doing this after my velvet incident. All the other fabrics I used passed the test with no problems. If your sample changes color, then you have a similar problem to the one I had and a fabric that should not have been used.

Is it in an obvious spot? Could you have missed it before?
Do you have a dog, maybe dog drool?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:30PM
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I did not think to test the sample, but was told from the salesman (though I provided this Robert Allen fabric to the Lancer furniture company) that this was durable and heavy duty fabric.

Last night I spilled a drop of water on my sample, did not wipe it, and let it dry. The exact sane thing happened to it--that area is puffier and will not go flat. Can it somehow be "cleaned" out? Can I trust that the upholstery cleaner coming to protect the fabric can clean this spot without making it worse?

We only have a fish and ant farm, so no drool. I'm certain this was not on the cushion when they delivered it.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:58AM
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Did you physically take possession of the fabric before sending ito Lancer? If so you are responsible for it regardless of any defect or insufficiency.

If I remember correctly, this settee is in a seating area or keeping room area off your kitchen, isn't it? I don't think it is unreasonable to think kids might have water or other drinks in that area, or perhaps waster dropped off someone's hands that weren't dried well enough. The fabric type may have been an unfortunate choice for that particular room.

Fabric ratings are for durability as seating only. I think something like 2000 or 3000 double rubs equals one year of average use. There is no rating system for how the fabric will react to liquids, dirt, etc.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:22AM
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Have you tried to brush the spot? Use a soft brush, try on your sample first.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Yes, I was in possession of the fabric first. It was not defected.

I will try using a lint brush on my sample.

Is it unusual for velvet to become raised like that spot is?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:21AM
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What type of velvet is it-- cotton velvet, linen velvet, rayon, wool, etc? I have a cut velvet sofa that is steam cleaned every year, I think it is cotton velvet, so not all velvet upholstery reacts to water that way. It may also have been treated with some chemical.

I asked if you personally sent in the fabric because if you had ordered it through a store or designer who knew you wanted a durable family friendly fabric it would be theirs to fix or replace.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Not specifically upholstery, but this article refers to cleaning velvet-

Here is a link that might be useful: Nat'l Cleaners Assoc - Velvet

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:20AM
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That's an informative article, Arapaho! I know wool mohair velvet can def be dry cleaned, perhaps the cleanability is based on whether the fabric is a natural material or man made. "Sizing" is the chemical treatment I was trying to remember that would make a difference in the fabric's ability to clean with water.

There is a difference also between cotton velvet and cotton velour, in that the velvet backing is woven and the velour backing is knitted-- I think that is true for rayon velour as well--- but don't know if that would affect cleaning.

We need a textile engineer on GW, or a weaver :-)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Should I be worried applying Microseal to the settee next week? Wetting the settee might cause the whole thing to look like this, right?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:19PM
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It could, you would have to test the Microseal on a sample. In my case the designer I was using at the time took some responsibility because I had asked for durable family friendly fabrics. She was not willing to fight it out with Schumacher. I believe she did some testing to try to protect the fabric, but the ultimate solution was the total replacement of fabric on 8 chairs.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:27PM
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The company applying the protector said it has a 4-day cure time and, after that, all will be fine.

Not sure how i could get a sample done prior to having them come out.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Can ypu get a guarantee from the. company applying the microseal?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Contact Robert Allen, or, if you purchased through a decorator, have the decorator contact Robert Allen.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:36PM
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Here's a review from the link below- maybe you could contact them and inquire?


My name is Susan Von R. IâÂÂm a performer and director of Court Dance and a seamstress for Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas. Website IâÂÂve spent 30 years recreating 16th century clothing for myself, fellow renaissance festival cast members, museums and a member of the REAL royal court of Spain, The Infanta Cristina, 1st Duchess of Palma de Mallorca (Cristina Federica Victoria Antonia de la Santísima Trinidad de Borbón y de Grecia).
Every year millions of people all across the country attend and perform at renaissance festivals wearing recreations of period 16th century clothing. These festivals require cast members to wear heavy, ground length gowns often costing thousands of dollars. These clothing recreations (costumes) must be worn at least 10 hours a day in all kinds of inclement weather from snow and rain to 105 degrees heat in the blazing Texas summer sun. These extreme weather conditions are very heard on expensive velvets, brocades and are ruinous to fine silks, satins and chiffons. Fabric protection is an invaluable tool in the longevity of these pricey fabric art forms. I spent years looking and testing fabric treatments that would: Increase fabric natural strength, minimize staining from rain or ANY liquids, some sort of protection/ANY kind of protection from fading due to sun (a Sun Inhibitor).

Here is a link that might be useful: Microseal of Chicago

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:42PM
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I contacted Microseal. The GM assured me it would be fine and said that their product might even help the spot in question. He said he applies it to velvets all the time.

I'll contact Robert Allen, too, but should I just ask about the Microseal, or for care instructions beyond what they list (pure solvents)?

The company applying the Microseal is bonded and insured, so at least there's that.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:22PM
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Circus Peanut

It looks like a rayon blend chenille velvet. These fabrics sometimes have lighter-weight fibers that more easily crush or indent. Looks like some liquid OR heat from a smartphone or laptop battery OR pressure from something in someone's pocket has warped the fibers.

I do a lot of reupholstery work with velvet, and this is not uncommon, although not welcome to find on a brand-new piece of course! (A lot of people find iPad-sized rectangles on their velvet.)

It's not hard to fix by steaming it to remove the mark. If you have a home steamer, you use it on low -- upholstery setting -- and make passes across the entire pillow/seat in one direction, with the nap. It's not a stain and you're not cleaning it per se; you are just trying to get out all the little fiber strands to point in the same direction again. If you're quite careful you can try the same with a clothes iron steaming on low, the fabric covered with a light cotton dishtowel or men's handkerchief.

I would do this prior to the chemical treatment.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Thanks, Circus. It is a rayon/cotton/poly blend, only 3% polyester, more rayon then cotton, but not by a lot.

We haven't used any devices on the settee. I think someone spilled a droplet of water on it. If Robert Allen says pure dry solvents is steam ok?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:10PM
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As my dry cleaner used to say, "velvet bruises very easily".

I have a chair upholstered in Robert Allen velvet circa 1987 and it gets those marks, too, although it's not as obvious because 1. the color is much lighter than yours, and 2. I had them put it on upside down so the nap would look more silvery.

Sometimes cautious steaming will lay it back down again, sometimes it's permanent.

EDIT Oh, and Robert Allen says no steam (or at least they used to), but there have been times when I just did it anyway. But if there's a possible warranty issue, I wouldn't.

This post was edited by writersblock on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 21:52

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Thanks, writersblock. I only have a warranty for the settee because I got this fabric on my own.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Please post again when and if you try steaming. Also, I am interested in Microseal for my new basement furniture, which will be all be delivered on a single day in mid June for one big installation. It would be ideal to try and have the product applied that day or shortly thereafter, before anyone has a chance to drop spaghetti sauce on anything. (Someone asked on another thread about tomato sauce stains on our brick floor and now I am worrying about the two tan sofas, lol.) I've never used the Microseal service/product but it sounds just what we need. Have you used this before?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:46PM
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I don't have a steamer, but will try my iron's steam setting Monday. I will post updates.

I have no prior experience with Microseal, but was attracted to the product because of its friendlier chemical compound. We have two small children and I am very conscious of their exposure to potentially caustic chemicals and off-gassing. Things that don't bother others cause adverse reactions with our son.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:07AM
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>I don't have a steamer, but will try my iron's steam setting Monday

Please don't. You will have a nice pattern of the steam holes added to what's already on the fabric, even if you keep the iron away from it. Don't ask me how I know this. You do need a steamer of some sort or you're about 80% likely to make it worse.

EDIT Even something like a small handheld clothes steamer is preferable to the iron. Do you know anyone who could lend you one? Really, when I tried steaming with the iron, both with the steam setting and over a damp towel, it made things much worse and it took professional steaming to get it back out again.

This post was edited by writersblock on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 11:23

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:21AM
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