How To Clean Vintage Chenille Fabric

Know how to clean vintage chenille fabric the right way to keep it looking good and in good shape. Chenille is fabric that has been woven, so care must be taken to ensure the weaving does not unravel. Loose threads are one way that causes the chenille to unravel. Hand washing is the best option for caring for and cleaning vintage chenille fabric.

To clean vintage chenille fabric, you will need:

  • Bathtub
  • Mild detergent
  • Fabric conditioner
  • Clothes dryer
  • Starch
  1. Fill the bathtub about half full of warm water. Add a small amount of mild detergent. The amount you use will depend on the amount of vintage chenille fabric you need to clean. If you're going to clean a bathrobe, about one-eighth of a cup will do. For a large bedspread, add about one-quarter cup of detergent. Swish the water around to evenly distribute the soap throughout the water.
  2. Add the vintage chenille fabric to the water in the bathtub. Carefully place the fabric into the water with detergent. Ensure that you have room for all of the fabric so the bathtub does not overflow. Be prepared to scoop out water using a bucket if needed.
  3. Let the fabric soak. Leave the vintage chenille fabric in the water for about 15 to 20 minutes, then gently pick up the fabric and move the water around. Use your hands as the agitator in a washing machine to move the water around the fabric. It's not necessary to scrub the fabric unless it has spots. If there are stains or spots, gently scrub them with a wash cloth.
  4. Drain the bathtub. Let the wash water out of the bathtub. The chenille fabric needs to be rinsed and conditioned.
  5. Add clean water to the bathtub and add a fabric conditioner. Let the fabric soak again for about 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the bathtub again. The chenille fabric will be full of water and very heavy. Gently press the fabric between your hands to begin removing water from the fabric. Have a plastic tub or large bucket handy to put the pressed portion of the fabric in to keep it from getting soaked again.
  7. Let the chenille fabric drip from the tub or bucket. It will be hard to get all of the water out of the fabric so drape it gently and let it drip for an hour or so.
  8. Dry the fabric. Use the clothes dryer to dry the vintage chenille fabric. Hanging the chenille fabric may cause threads to break and the weave to unravel.
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