How to maintain and clean mohair velours and upholstery cover fabrics

Information issued by
the International Mohair Association

in co-operation with

German Association of Upholstered Furniture Industry, Herford
German Association of Furniture Industry, Bad Honnef
German Association for Interior Textiles Industry, Wuppertal
Federal Association for German Trade specialised in Kitchens, Furniture and Fixtures, Cologne
German Association for Textiles Cleaning, Bonn
Laundry Research, Institute of Clean Technologies, Krefeld
Federal Association of Official Experts in Interiors and Furnishing, Dortmund
Central Association of German Handicraft Furnishing, Bonn

Please note:

As with other articles, dust settles on upholstered furniture as well. Dirt can also be caused by contact with dirty materials. Do not allow the dirt to become too excessive, otherwise it will be more difficult to remove. The upholstery cover fabrics should be cleaned regularly to ensure prolonged life and appearance.

Regular maintenance should consist of
- Vacuuming and/or brushing
- Removal of stains
- an intermediate clean
- a fundamental clean

The fundamental clean should be undertaken by an expert. Depending on the degree of dirt and the colour of the fabric, a fundamental clean is advisable every 4 or 5 years. Addresses of registered specialist upholstery cleaners can he obtained from the local Consumer Enquiry Office.

The regular maintenance

Mohair velours should be brushed with a hard clothes-brush and/or vacuumed with the nozzle, always in the direction of the nap.

A rejuvenating treatment for mohair is to rub it with a slightly damp leather cloth, again in the direction of the nap.

The removal of stains

Naturally, a professional upholstery cleaner has more expertise in removing stains but it is possible for you to remove minor stains by following these instructions:

Damp stains

These should be treated as soon as they occur with a white absorbent cloth or tissue , slightly moistened with lukewarm water. It is very important not to use coloured cloths 1 tissues as the colour may rub off and stain the fabric.

If water alone will not remove the stain, a diluted carpet 1 upholstery shampoo can be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Never apply the cleaning solution directly onto the upholstery but onto a dampened white cloth. This should then be rubbed gently (rubbing too hard may affect the surface structure of the fabric) onto the stain, working from the edge to the middle. Any residual shampoo should be removed carefully with a damp cloth.

The last rubbing should always be in the direction of the nap. The upholstery fabric should he dried immediately before being used again (a hair dryer on a low temperature setting can be used).

Dry stains

These can be treated in a similar way to damp stains. If the stain remains, dab it with a white cloth dampened with soluble Benzine.

The intermediate clean

The intermediate clean is defined as the treatment of the whole surface of the upholstery cover fabric. For mohair velours it can be done in two different ways:
- By spraying a dry shampoo onto a dampened, squeezed out sponge and rubbing onto the fabric, following the manufacturer's instructions. Use a dry shampoo that crystallises 100%.
- By using a liquid shampoo worked into a foam with a sponge and then using only the foam. At the end of the treatment, the whole surface should be rubbed carefully with a dry white cloth in the direction of the nap. When the upholstery cover fabric is completely dry, vacuum or brush it with a soft brush, always in the direction of the nap.

The upholstered furniture should only be used again when it is completely dry (at least 24 hours).

If mohair velours are not regularly maintained, certain well-worn areas (seats, arms) will show pile tangling and matting over a period of time. Depending on the colour, this will be seen by a change of shade. After cleaning, these parts should be treated with a damp cloth or water spray pump bottle as follows:

Treatment of marks due to wear and tear

By sitting you exert a pressure on the velours fabric forcing the nap in different directions. This, together with heat, the rising air humidity and the body moisture and the type of stuffing beneath can 'fix' this change of direction which is noticeable through a change of colour. This is a typical property of velours and it is neither a defect nor a sign of low quality. *)

This effect can be removed by applying a damp (not wet) cloth overnight which will restore the mohair fibre. Again, the upholstered furniture should not he used until it is completely dry. If necessary a hair dryer can be used at low temperature.

The same result can be achieved by spraying distilled water for a few seconds, at a distance of 20 cm from the fabric and again leaving overnight. Care should be taken not to drop large quantities of water on the fabric. It is advisable to treat the whole surface in order to avoid shading. This treatment can be repeated if necessary.

After this treatment, the upholstered furniture must be completely dry before it can be used again. A hair dryer at a low temperature setting can be used.

Characteristics of mohair velours

Due to the structure of the mohair fibre, small knots may occasionally appear in spinning and weaving. This does not affect the look or performance of velours. These effects are less visible in thicker velours.

A few single black and white hairs of the Angora goat which do not absorb colour in the dyeing process may appear in the finished fabric. These characteristics do not in any way reflect a depreciation in quality, but emphasise the natural character and authenticity of mohair velours.

*) The foundation "Warentest ' (testing products), in Berlin,
explains in its "Handbook for the purchase of furniture ',
1994 edition, page 49..

"Concerning velours the appearance of a mark due to the wear and tear is unavoidable and it depends neither on the height and the position of the nap or on the warmth, weight and damp of the body, but this is a typical property of this product."

Related links

Here you can find more information about mohair.