Back Button

How to Clean a Tapestry

Melissa King
Antique tapestries require special care.

With their intricate patterns and bold colors, tapestries add warmth and beauty to any room in your home. Many tapestry owners hang theirs on a wall for display, while others drape their tapestry over a bed or lay it flat on the floor. If you hang your tapestry on the wall, it usually will not get dirty enough to need a deep cleaning. Unless your tapestry gets soiled, an occasional dusting with your vacuum cleaner is enough to keep the item looking fresh.

Step 1

Remove the tapestry from the wall, if necessary.

Step 2

Lay the tapestry on a flat surface, such as on a clean floor or a table.

Step 3

Connect an upholstery attachment to your vacuum cleaner. This attachment has stiff bristles and an oval- or rectangular-shaped head.

Step 4

Turn on the vacuum cleaner. Run the upholstery attachment down the length of the tapestry, working from the top to the bottom. Vacuum the top side of the tapestry; this is where dust collects when it hangs on the wall.

Step 5

Flip the tapestry over and vacuum the back, if desired. The tapestry's backside is usually not as dirty as the front.

Step 6

Take your tapestry to a dry cleaner if it still looks dirty after vacuuming. You should not dry clean certain types of tapestries, such as hand-woven ones, Italian and French reproduction tapestries or those made of 100 percent wool. If you have a tapestry such as this, contact a rug cleaner who specializes in high-end carpets or antique textiles.


Clean your tapestry before placing it in storage.


If your tapestry has developed a crease, lay it on an ironing board or flat surface and place a soft cloth over the crease. Iron the tapestry through the fabric to remove the crease. Avoid using the steam setting on your iron if the tapestry is old.


Do not wash your tapestry in the washing machine. Doing so may damage the delicate fabric.


Some tapestries have tassels, beads or other embellishments around their border. If yours does, use caution when vacuuming to avoid sucking up and damaging these items.