Dirty Laundry: Cleaning Crush

Dear Maid Mindy:

I have a crushed velvet dress with no care instructions. It needs to be cleaned!

– Velveteen Bunny

Dear Bunny,

Lucky for you, crushed is the easiest velvet to care for. With most smooth velvets, you need to avoid folding or “crushing” it because you can break the pile and create permanent creases.

You will still need to figure out what your garment is made from, as there are many types of velvets made from cotton, silks or synthetic fabrics. Most types of velvet require dry cleaning, as water can discolor or wrinkle the pile (though the pile on crushed velvets is already wrinkled – do you want to risk discoloration?). If your dress is a stretchy velour-like velvet, it may be machine-washable.

If you can find another garment in a store that is similar to yours, you can check the care instructions. In the meantime, if you like the dress, play it safe and take it to the dry cleaner.

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