Considering Flocked Velvet?
By Gerald Brant
Whenever I go shopping, I often wander off to the furniture department to see what’s new. A real eye-catcher in the last few years has been flocked velvet upholstery.
The procedure for manufacturing this fabric isn’t easy to explain, because it involves a woven backing material coated with the vinyl latex adhesive into which tiny fibers are electrostatically implanted. If you understand all that, then you’re doing better than most people.
Anyway, flocked velvets catch your eye because they have beautiful, vivid, printed patterns, and they are extremely lustrous. And I do mean extremely. The price is usually attractive, too.
They also clean quite well, which is an advantage for you, and it makes me look like a genius, too. Great, so far.
Like all wonderful things in life, there are some catches, so don’t run to the furniture store before you finish this.
First, and this is a minor problem, you are limited in the use of dry-cleaning solvents for spot removal. It seems as though the solvent used on tar, gum, and grease also dissolves the adhesive and, while the spot comes out, so does the face fiber. That’s a problem.
Second, and here’s the real hang up, any area subject to constant use and abrasion, such as arm rests, piping, or cushions, will eventually experience fiber loss. In other words, flocked velvet fabrics develop bald spots. In contrast, woven velvet fabrics can be expected to last many years with little change in texture.
So, there’s the problem: beautiful fabrics, but not perfect. At least now you have some additional information on which to base your selection decision.