How to Take Care of Chenille Fabric Upholstery

Colleen De Koning

Chenille upholstery fabric is a wonderful combination of durability, softness and beauty, so it's no wonder it is often used to upholster furniture and decorative items like throw pillows. Maintaining your chenille-upholstered furniture presents a special challenge due to its soft hand, pile (the yarns that create the plush feel) and nap (the direction of the woven fibers). Regular cleaning and stain removal keeps your chenille furniture looking fresh, and helps it retain the integrity of the weave -- which results in a longer, more attractive life for your furniture.

Chenille is a soft fabric often used to upholster furniture.

Step 1

Brush your chenille upholstery before vacuuming. Remove any detachable cushions and armrest covers. Brush gently with a very soft brush, working in the direction of the nap. A baby's hairbrush is the best choice. Brushing the fabric keeps the fabric in good condition and helps retain its soft feel. Brush the entire surface of the furniture, including cushions and armrest covers.

Step 2

Vacuum your chenille upholstery weekly. Regular vacuuming guards against dust accumulation and prevents dirt from embedding in the fabric fibers. Use a soft upholstery attachment and vacuum with the grain of the nap, ensuring that all corners and piping are thoroughly cleaned. Replace the cushions.

Step 3

Blot stains as soon as they occur. For stains beading up on the surface, touch the corner of a paper towel to the liquid to absorb as much of it as possible. Gently blot stains that have absorbed into the surface of the fabric with a clean white towel, being careful not to rub or scrub at the fabric. Allow thick substances like mud or spaghetti sauce to completely dry, then scrape off the residue and brush the surface to raise the pile.

Step 4

Spot clean chenille fabrics when a stain has absorbed and dried into the fibers. Apply a mild solvent or dry cleaning product, following the manufacturer's directions. Work in a well-ventilated area. Apply upholstery shampoo or foam according to the product instructions. Brush the fabric after application and vacuum to remove any residue. Always test cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous area before using the product.