Washing cross stitch and embroidery projects is sometimes seen as a difficult, or unnecessary task at the end of a stitching project. So why should you wash your projects? Washing cross stitch removes the oils that have accumulated in the floss and fabric from your hands. No matter how clean your hands are and how many times you wash your hands while stitching, they will still leave invisible oils on the floss and fabric. If you don’t remove these oils, then eventually that will contribute to your stitching deteriorating and going yellow far faster than it otherwise would. That’s why museums use gloves when handling archival products like old artwork — any extra oils from their hands would accelerate the artwork’s degeneration and brittleness. So not only is washing cross stitch really important to extend the life of your finished piece, it’s also very quick and easy to do as the video below will show. The video shows the samples of my Blackwork Heart free cross stitch pattern — if you’d like to access this pattern and the rest of the other free cross stitch patterns from Peacock & Fig, click the image below!
Washing cross stitch and embroidery
- Use lukewarm water – hot water may leach colour out of cheaper floss (DMC, Anchor are colorfast)
- Clear shampoo works well to wash, Woolite can be harsh sometimes
- Let soak 10-15 minutes in the water
- Carefully swish through the water releasing any loosened dirt and oils, rinse in clean water
- Roll in a light colored towel and squeeze gently to remove excess water
- Gently iron face down on a towel, lay it flat to dry, or pin to an ironing board or other flat surface to “block” it and let dry