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This week I will be cleaning one silk and one velvet couch. I will be using Encap Green, but I'm deciding if I should go low moisture using handheld orbital machine or HWE (low heat) with my SS tool. I have a velvet brush which I will use to set the nap right after the cleaning. Which method would you recommend?
The more water you apply to velvet the more time you will need with brush and hair dryer to set fiber. By misting and using micro fiber cloths you can clean with less pile distortion. With more soiled areas repeat the process over and over instead of soaking fiber.  A hwe tool that shears instead of spraying is ok but is does not get into buttons and creases so you still need micro fiber cloth to get into tight places. Always need a metal carding brush to finish velvet and chenille or viscose but much less time with cloths over hwe tool.

Silk is strong so it can handle water you just have to dry it quick and test color bleeding depending on peice and be careful with some metal upholstery tools that can snag an expensive piece of fabric.

I have done them both methods and dry cleaned with heated solvent also. Micro fiber and a low ph encap is what I have used for 4 years now only.
Encap green should be safe  for hwe or micro fiber cloth....always test first on piece.
(05-09-2016, 09:23 PM)joel hoppe Wrote: [ -> ]The more water you apply to velvet the more time you will need with brush and hair dryer to set fiber. By misting and using micro fiber cloths you can clean with less pile distortion. With more soiled areas repeat the process over and over instead of soaking fiber.  A hwe tool that shears instead of spraying is ok but is does not get into buttons and creases so you still need micro fiber cloth to get into tight places. Always need a metal carding brush to finish velvet and chenille or viscose but much less time with cloths over hwe tool.

Silk is strong so it can handle water you just have to dry it quick and test color bleeding depending on peice and be careful with some metal upholstery tools that can snag an expensive piece of fabric.

I have done them both methods and dry cleaned with heated solvent also. Micro fiber and a low ph encap is what I have used for 4 years now only.
Encap green should be safe  for hwe or micro fiber cloth....always test first on piece.

Hi Joel,

Thanks for the advice. I went to have a look at the silk sofa yesterday and did a little test with encap green on the area where the cusion zipper is. Although the test was very short, it seemed like microfiber was too rough for the silk. No bleeding though.  I decided to clean the sofa by hand with sponge and fast drying shampoo, because it looks like this particular sofa can't be rubbed a lot. It's a custom made piece, locally made and very delicate, so I have to be super careful.
I'll be cleaning the silk sofa tomorrow, and the velvet sofa on Friday. I will let you know how it went this weekend. Thanks again.
Smart to play it safe on fibers.

A plastic vac tool on a spotter machine can be safe or some use a plastic screen over the upholstery tool.
Surprised a wet blue soft micro fiber cloth will fuzz or damage silk but every piece is different----testing is always important. Fiber could be viscose because silk is strong and not sensitive to cleaning like viscose which frays and tears with water.


Look for info from Steve Andrews on the web. He recommends using a small steamer for upholstery the $1200 kind or you can buy a shark steam
machine cheap but they use micro fiber cloths where steam comes out.

His site for carpet surgeons does not offer info for cleaning but he used to teach iicrc classes and has some upholstery videos buried on other
forums that you would have to search for. This video shows the steamer on leather but it can be used on any fabric.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzirom7dBmY



Joel,

I just wanted to let you know that I got pretty good results cleaning both of the sofas by hand and a mild acidic shampoo. Especially the velvet sofa turned out real nice. The colors brightened up a little and the owner was very pleased. The silk sofa also looked okay, but there were moments when I wanted to use more aggressive solution where a few scuff marks from the shoes were. There also was one black ink spot on a cushion that I decided not to treat, after talking to the owner of the sofa. I have an ink remover, but was afraid that it might weaken silk.
I'll probably order the new upholstery cleaning product from Steve, to see how it compares with the upholstery shampoo that I currently have.
Good to hear you had good results.
Using encap on upholstery will put a shine on the fiber when fiber dries because of the polymer. Soil that lands on fabric in coming months will vacuum off easier too.