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Washing cross stitch and embroidery

Washing cross stitch and embroidery

with 8 Comments

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!

 

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Washing cross stitch and embroidery

 

 

Final tips:

  • 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

 

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Washing cross stitch and embroidery
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Washing cross stitch and embroidery
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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 at all?
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Peacock & Fig
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Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

8 Responses

  1. Tammy
    | Reply

    I would like to know if washing my gramdmothers needlepoints after 40 or so years is a good idea. They are very dirty and sppted from years of being on walls and stored in attic. I do not know if they thread will bleed. Any suggestions or if i should just leave them as they are.

  2. Jenni
    | Reply

    Do you do this for large pieces as well? I am working on one (the largest I have done) that will be about 8.5 x 11 finished and about 40 colors. 2/3 of the pattern is reds (DMC floss). I’m nervous to wash it at the end and have the reds bleed or otherwise ruin the piece. Thank you!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Jenni! Yes, you should wash any project when you finish it, the exception is hand-dyed fabrics and floss may run (or if you’re using unknown floss like from a Chinese kit). DMC floss is colourfast, it won’t run. If you want to test that before washing your whole piece, get a scrap of fabric, stitch a few stitches in the same red on it, and soak it for 10-15 minutes. If it doesn’t run, your bigger piece will be ok too. 🙂 You can also use things like a colour catcher when you wash your fabric, then any dye that does run gets caught in that and not into your fabric and other floss.

  3. Jennifer Marsman
    | Reply

    loved this tutorial! Thanks! Just wondering what you recommend for hand dyed floss such as Weeks Dye Works etc. I have had them bleed quite badly and been very disappointed after working so long on a piece.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for your question! I create all my patterns with brands such as DMC and Kreinik, I have customers all over the world so I want them to be able to readily get the floss for their projects. I haven’t used hand-dyed floss yet, but what I would suggest is washing your floss before you start using it if you think it may bleed. You could group similar tones together and wash them in the same way I describe in the video, and obviously you’ll just have to let them air dry rather than iron them dry. If needed, you could wash them twice to really make sure any loose dye gets out of the floss. Does that help? 🙂

  4. Christine
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial. It’s exactly what I needed, right when I needed it!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Ahahahah that’s so awesome, I’m so glad it helped you Christine! 😀

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