How to Repair and Clean Antique Upholstery


Antique upholstery can date back hundreds of years. It could be a valuable possession or heirloom in a private residency, or part of the luxury experience you offer guests when they stay at your hotel. Authentic antiques certainly add historical charm and value to properties and establishments. But, with their age, they need to be taken care of properly. Otherwise, you could risk damaging the material or furniture beyond repair.

In this guide, we’re looking at the best approach to take care of your antique upholstery, including chairs, chaise longues and beds. Whether your material has started to yellow or become discoloured, is dusty or has a stain, there are best practices to follow, which are outlined below.

If your upholstered furniture is over 75 years old, it’s recommended that you get specialist cleaning services. Even if the upholstery isn’t the original, it could still be fragile or old. If your chair is rare and of historical significance, it’s best to use it for ornamental purposes only, rather than to sit on.

How to repair damaged upholstery?

Unfortunately, not all damage to antique upholstery will be repairable. By calling a specialist, they can advise on the best course of action. Reupholstering may be required, but if they can repair any cracks or tears they will.

How do you get stains out of antique upholstery?

If you’ve spilt some liquid on your upholstery, it is important to try to absorb as much of it as you can as soon as possible. A kitchen towel or similarly dry absorbent material is recommended. Avoid wet cloths or applying large amounts of water. Blotting with a tiny amount of water on a cloth can help. But, too much water can make the staining worse or cause colours to run. If in doubt, consult a specialist cleaning provider.

You should also avoid using heat, as this can cause shrinkage, and even permanently fix a stain.

How to look after antique upholstery

  • Wash your hands before handling.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods to prevent fading.
  • Don’t smoke around the upholstered furnishings.
  • Regularly hoover to prevent a build-up of dust – use the low suction setting for fragile materials such as silk or linen.
  • Always consult a professional or hire a specialist cleaner to maintain, clean and repair your antique upholstery.

Commercial upholstery cleaning London

From velvet and damask to leather, the team at Donau are professionally trained to work with a wide range of antique upholstery fabrics for commercial establishments and private residences. We can bring the upholstered furnishings in every room back to their former glory. Speak to us today to organise a call with our director. We work with some of London’s most prestigious hotels and operate a reliable 24/7 upholstery stain removal service.

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