Wash and Go?

Fellow stitchers, an important question: Do you wash your work?

To be honest, I am terrified of washing mine. My younger sister created a cross-stitched lobster in art class in high school. When she washed it to block it the color ran. Mr. Lobster has been hanging in the kitchen for over fifteen years in a haze of red, underscoring my belief that water will ruin my precious projects. In full disclosure, I am no laundry queen, as my husband’s wardrobe of slightly pink t-shirts proves.

I am only a few stitches away from finishing a piece, worked in black thread on white linen, and will be ready to frame. I would love to get the crispness back in the fabric, but can’t bear to see my efforts float away like clouds of errant dye in a water bath. It might be nice to get the curry paste stain out, as well (bad Rubi!).

I read this post by Joetta Maue, with pictures (above) of her wet needlework drying and thought “Brave” is a fitting title.

So, please weigh in, do you wash your pieces? Have you had a bad experience with dye running? What products do you use?


~ by rubi on April 29, 2009.

3 Responses to “Wash and Go?”

  1. I usually start with a spray bottle of water to test. If nothing happens with the color, then I feel confident to put it in the sink. In embroidery, I’m usually not so concerned about washing the whole thing, mostly getting it wet enough to get rid of my water-soluble marking pen. Last night I used a spray bottle of Mrs. Meyers Ironing and it was great!

  2. I only use one brand of thread and it has never run for me. So most likely a test of the thread would work to protect the final piece. I also only very gently hand wash the work. When I dry it I do not wring but just pat it until ok to hang….and I also use a spray bottle to test as Karin does.

  3. The spray bottle is a great idea, I’m going to try that.
    When I use DMC, I haven’t had a problem. When I use vintage/tjhrfted
    Thread I soak in “blood temperature” water and don’t
    wring or rub.

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