Caring for Antique Upholstery
Unlike modern, mass-produced furniture, antique furniture imbues your home with old-world elegance and character. Whether you own a beloved family heirloom like a fainting couch or found an amazing piece at an estate sale, we want to provide you with some basic cleaning and care information so you can enjoy your furniture for years to come.
How often do you dust your home? You should vacuum your antique upholstery every time you dust, because just as dust settles on hard surfaces, it also settles on your upholstery. Removing dust and dirt not only prevents premature wear, but helps keep your antique upholstery looking clean and fresh. Use a handheld vacuum on the lowest setting and soft brush attachment to vacuum your furniture. Be sure embellishments, such as trim, buttons, or tassels are secure and not likely to be pulled or torn by the vacuum.
Attend to Spills Quickly
As soon as a spill occurs, use a paper towel or a white absorbent cloth to blot (not rub) the spill. Continually use fresh, new paper towels or cloths to absorb as much of the spill as possible.
Improper cleaning methods can harm any type of fabric, but vintage fabric is especially susceptible to damage. It is very delicate and can tear or stretch if you employ the same cleaning methods used on contemporary upholstery. For more information on spot cleaning, download our free Care Guide. However, we strongly suggest you test an inconspicuous spot before proceeding with any attempts at spot cleaning, or better yet, contact an experienced professional to clean any remaining discoloration from a spill.
Protect Against UV Rays
Harmful ultraviolet rays can cause fading of the colors in your vintage fabric. There are a few options for limiting UV exposure. Arrange your furniture so that your prized antique pieces are not exposed to direct sunlight or close window blinds or curtains to block sunlight during certain hours of the day.
A more expensive option would be to install UV blocking windows or apply a solar film to your windows. Fortunately, the price will be offset by the fact that UV blocking windows or solar film can significantly reduce the amount of heat coming into your home, which results in lower energy bills.
The best way to preserve the beauty and longevity of your antique furniture is to have it professionally cleaned at least once per year. An experienced, skilled professional can anticipate potential problems, identify the appropriate cleaning solutions and methods for each type of fabric, and safely achieve the best possible results. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns you have about your antique upholstered furniture.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of surpHaces Partners.