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How to clean velvet, suede, silk and other challenging fabrics

Silk and velvet are beautiful fabrics, but many homeowners avoid them because they seem pretty high maintenance! However, it turns out that they aren't that difficult to clean. Here's how:

SILK

Simply handwash in cold water, and use detergent on any affected areas. Let it hang dry and you're set! If you want to iron out creases, use a steamer instead. It's less harsh on the fabric, and will not cause a burn as badly as an iron would. 

LEATHER

Above anything else, remember to moisturise your leather to keep it supple and buttery, so it doesn't start to crack or peel. Before cleaning, use a microfibre cloth to dust away dirt. Next, use a moisturising soap meant for leather, and slowly lather it on the surface. Be sure not to soak the leather in water, as it will leave water stains that are hard to treat.

SUEDE

Spot-clean it with a small amount of vinegar and water. Use a damp cloth to gently rub away stains. For prevention, spray stain and water repellent before using suede items.

JACQUARD

It's best to treat in small parts with a mild solvent, instead of dumping in the wash. Occasionally brush the fabric to remove any dirt that might cause a long-term stain.

This article was written by Atika Lim for Singapore Women's Weekly.

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