Washing Finished Projects

Tips, Tricks & Techniques - anything to help fellow cross stitchers.

Re: Washing Finished Projects

by bookknurd » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:09 pm

I'm doing a kit right now, and before stitching I ran all of the reds and blues under cold water before using them. None of them seemed to run. I will definitely have to wash this when I'm done, so I'm really hoping nothing runs.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Shespeach » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:36 am

How do you keep it from fraying in the washing machine?
 
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Oriettait » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:13 am

Shespeach wrote:How do you keep it from fraying in the washing machine?


If the fabric is linen (that usually fray a lot) I sew the edges and leave the floss in.
other fabric does not fray so much. I wash in the wash machine inside a pillow case to give some protection.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by kicking » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:14 pm

Hi guys. I am just over half way through a HAED, been at it for about 1.5yrs and it is filthy. I was planning to wash it at the end as I was afraid if I washed it half way through it might fade the threads slightly so that there would be a noticable difference in the colour in the stitches that were washed and the stitches that weren't. Hope that made sense!!! Anyone had this happen or would I just be better waiting till the end just incase???
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Rose » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:46 pm

If you are using either DMC or Anchor then you should not have any issue with fading. I have washed projects in the middle of stitching it and never found any type of fading or washed out coloring.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by kmummy77 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:37 pm

Despite stitching for 10 years now I have never had the courage to wash a piece for fear that the colours would run. Glad to hear that so many others have had success, and was glad to see this post. I think that one thing in the Australian heat that has concerned me was that I don't limit my stitching to winter, and have had a few sweaty days where I am worried that my clammy arms have touched the piece as I stitched away. While there is no short term evidence of damage I am worried that over time the oils and salt that I have left behind are going to erode the work. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that my piece will remain in the family for 400 years, but I'm not sure how long it takes before it may discolour the work. So I will definitely try to wash this time around. Thanks for the tips!
 
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Re:

by Patricia » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:54 pm

PaulaH wrote:I must admit I've only ever handwashed mine - the one of Mum's face took me 4 years to finish so that needed a serious soak.

I usually put some Dreft or even washing up liquid in a bowl, swish it around and then change the water for clear, swish again then onto a white towel which I roll up like a sausage and squish to get the excess liquid out then place flat on another towel until it's almost dry - I usually iron them just damp on the wrong side then leave it to dry naturally.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by abigail14 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:56 am

I wash mine in the machine on the short cycle with a Color Catcher. The ends fray but so far my projects have had enough space for some fraying. I usually cut the Color Catcher in 1/2 trying to stretch the box. :)
 
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by abigail14 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:05 am

I had to laugh at the library the other day, a friend of a friend I met a week ago saw me and I showed him the :wip: he said "That's some hardcore stitching!" :lol:
 
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by JeanFarish » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:12 pm

It's interesting to see all the hints from so many people ... what really amazes me is that there didn't seem to be any disaster stories!

A tip that I will add is about the ironing ... both linen and cotton can tolerate a high heat. Like most of the posts, I roll the washed item in a towel to get out most of the moisture and then while is it damp, I iron it on the wrong side, face down on several layers of terry towel. As I iron, I flip the toweling so I have a dry surface until I have ironed the piece dry.

My stitches are plump, not flattened at all because of the softness of the towels. My linen is crisp and looks fab.

I'm not a slob but I do want to enjoy my stitching time, which is often somewhere away from home (ballpark, doctor's office, playground) and if I'm stitching for any length of time, food is involved!

And one more thing ... when stitching large pieces over any length of time, I sometimes wash and iron before I am done. And sometimes it's more than once.

But even if you stitch in a smoke-free, pet-free, food-free zone, needlework always looks better after it is washed and ironed, IMHO.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by richardandtracy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:32 am

Interesting to see the options.

I do mine on a 24" roller frame, and leave it attached to the rollers while I wash the piece by hand in a bath using machine washing powder. To dry, I have found that a metal radiator airer is very useful (the sort that hooks over a radiator to dry clothing in winter). The radiator legs slot under the roof in my workshop, and the radiator top hooks are the perfect size for one of the rollers. Then I hang a couple of weights (two aluminium castings I have handy weighting about 750 [1.5lb] each) on the roller at the bottom and allow it to dry under tension. When dry, unpick the work from the roller. The result doesn't need ironing.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Lulu22 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:54 pm

I was very concerned about dyes running but after reading online posts including this one I plucked up the courage to wash my wip, (i use only DMC threads) i put it in a pillow case on a 30 degree normal wash with some washing powder and with some old sheets to fill it out, when it came out it looked different and I was a bit worried at this point however I hung it over a curtain pole to dry overnight and it looked great the next day I was so pleased, as it was 3 years of work but now I'm much more confident about washing projects :)
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by meliebean » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:31 pm

Ive been toying with the idea of putting them in a bra bag to wash in the machine on delicate. I am always worried I will ruin them.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by coolpenguin » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:38 pm

I've just read through this entire thread and it's very helpful!

In the next few months I'll be washing my D Day Remembrance project. It is gridded with washable marker and I know some people say that could be problematic, I did it anyway. I washed another piece that had been gridded with marker in March and after two hand washings it came out fine. This D Day piece is filthy! I'm using Q Snaps and the fabric in the corners if filthy and I don't know why.

Question: This project not only has marker gridlines, red DMC floss and it will have beads. When I go to iron it, will pressing it between towels protect the seed beads? This is my concern! Help!
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Allyn » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:52 am

coolpenguin wrote:.... When I go to iron it, will pressing it between towels protect the seed beads? This is my concern! Help!



Yes. I use a terry towel and put the project face down on it, then I put a tea towel over it and iron. The terry has enough thickness that it cushions the beads. I have a pretty thick pad on my ironing board, so I'd probably be okay, but I use the towel anyway -- habit mostly. I haven't had a bead emergency yet.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by coolpenguin » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:40 am

Thanks so much!
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Past Impressions » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:07 pm

One worth keeping mind is even if a piece you've had for a while doesn't appear dirty or in need of a wash, the oils from your skin and other uncomfortable deposits will have passed into your work, and can lead to mess down the line.

Out of curiosity, has anyone tried both hand washing and using a delicate machine cycle? Would like to know which ones give the best results not only in terms of removing dirt and/or stains, but which were easier, wasted less water etc.?
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Rose » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:22 pm

I have washed projects both ways. It all depends on the project. How quickly I need it cleaned and pressed. When I use the delicate cycle I do not put just the project in I wait for a load of other delicates and make a full load so wasting water is not really an issue. I believe both ways cleans just as effectively as the other.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Allyn » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:01 pm

Past Impressions wrote:...Out of curiosity, has anyone tried both hand washing and using a delicate machine cycle? Would like to know which ones give the best results not only in terms of removing dirt and/or stains, but which were easier, wasted less water etc.?


I've done both. I prefer handwashing. Either way will get the piece equally clean, but I feel like it's easier to iron a piece after handwashing. It's been my experience (I can't prove it, it just seems to me) that the spin cycle 'presses' wrinkles into the fabric. The piece gets wadded up in the wash cycle and then forcefully mashed against the inside wall of the drum during the final spin cycle. When removed from the washer, it was almost like unfolding a crumpled-up piece of paper and trying to get it smooth again. It was probably the fabric -- I think it was linen -- but I didn't put mine in the washing machine anymore. Another fabric, maybe jobelan or something soft like that, might not crease so much. I'm finishing a project only once or twice a year, so saving water isn't really a consideration for me.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by QueenOfHearts » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:32 pm

I soak the finished works for about half an hour in warm water with washing up liquid, when it's half dry iron it under a teatowel.
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