Washing Finished Projects

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

Re: Washing Finished Projects

by lgxkls » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:47 am

Hello, I'm new here but thought I would post my experiences on washing cross-stitch projects.
I have always washed my cross stitch in the past, mainly DMC threads in a little Fairy or Woolite in cool water. I have never had any problems.
My last project was A japanese lady, the kit had been started by my mother shortly before her death and I finished the cross-stitch. When I came to wash it the colours in the thread - particularly red colours ran terribly. I don't know what brand of thread was included in the kit as the numbers did not match up to any colour guide for the common brands.
I managed to save most of the cross stitch by washing in vinigar but there was still some staining on the aida. Luckily this was hidden beneath the frame.
The moral is be very careful if using unknown threads and always test a sample of the thread before washing the finished project.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Granny » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:41 am

I wash in the machine, on gentle, in a laundry bag. I was of the opinion that I needed to wash to remove the oils from the hands as they may discolor differently than the unsoiled parts. Could it just be an old wives tale? I then remove it and press it dry. I have never run into any problems with this method. I must admit I have washed no matter the machine so it was the old wringer tub before the automatic. I then rolled it up in a towel to remove the excess moisture, just as my Grandma taught me, many, many years ago.

I should add that I usually either hand whip stitch or machine zig zag the edges of my fabric piece before I start stitching.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Ceitidh » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:40 am

I have always given my finished stitching a handwash in warm water with just a touch of dishwashing liquid in it and they have all come up great. I would be far too scared to put it in the washing machine as my machine eats socks and may well be partial to stitching as well. :lol:

I then roll it up in a towel to remove excess moisture and hang it out to dry on the line so that the neighbours can admire it :D

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by *barb* » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:22 am

i wash them by hand with wool wash and in hot water, then rinse in cold water and roll in a towel and iron dry. I only do this for bigger works, not things like cards ect, because some of mine have got a bit dirty, hoop marks and a blackish stain but that hasn't happened in a long while.

But, I recently washed a project i had used gold filament in. I do not know the brand as it came in a kit and after I washed it, I guess because the project had shrunk back as it is stretched in the hoop, the gold was a bit slack which i was a bit disappointed with. I was able to pul it back a bit tighter but not to what it looked like orginally. Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Pisces57 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:28 pm

I always hand wash, in cool water and vinegar, any red floss first, before I use it. I never have to worry about it bleeding after that.

I have always hand washed my finished projects with a very small amount of Zero (for colors) in lukewarm water, followed by several rinses in cool water, roll up in a towel to remove excess water, lay flat to dry and then iron on a towel, on the reverse, so as not to flatten the threads. If I have a piece that has a lot of "different" colors I will rinse first in vinegar water to set the colors, then continue on with my hand washing. This method has always worked for me.

I'm in the group of "too chicken" to even contemplate the washing machine.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by koko » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:31 pm

My sister who is a knitter just turned me on to Eucalan soap - she uses it to wash all her hand-knits and it is very gentle. No rinsing required, either. I tried it this weekend and it worked very well. It says it can go for machine or hand wash - I hand washed my item.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Leslie » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:15 pm

:D I have washed projects both ways.

I find that if you put the smaller ones into a lingerie bag and big ones in a white pillow case then wash with other delicates on the delicate wash with little or no spin the colours never run, and sometimes they need a machine wash to get the dirt out.

The colours should never run these days. A few years ago I was chatting with a lad who used to install wool dying plant for factories, he said that all dyes nowadays are put in at 120 - 130 C under pressure. When he once went to Joannesburg in South Africa to install a system they had to have the vats made 6" thick so that they could get the pressure to stop the dye boiling at the higher altitude.

He told me that even putting wool and cotton through the boil wash, should never cause the dyes to run, because a domestic washing machine will never get the water hot enough. If you're washing on the delicate settings the temperature will always be hand hot anyway.

By washing them in a protective cover i have found that fraying is not a large problem.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Rose » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:57 am

Not sure if you are in the US or not but there is a product called Shout Color Catcher Sheets. You can put one in the wash load to help trap dyes that may run. I have never tried it with anything I have stitched but it is an option to consider if you can find this.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by stitchiemom » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:16 pm

I have washed both in the machine and by hand. If the project is very large and will not fit in the sink I will wash in the machine. When I am stitching the project, I am aware of how I will wash it and will make sure my anchors are more secure if it is an item that will go in the washer, this is true for clothing and blankets also. Then I iron them to dry. When they are mostly dry and stiff again I leave it out to air for a few hours before rolling it untill framing.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Katiespark » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:20 pm

I am so jealous to hear of all the projects you have washed with no problems. I have always washed my completed projects (even though I wash my hands before stitching and try to be very careful, I just think it gives a nice crisp look) and never had a problem UNTIL... my daughter's Christmas stocking. After spending SO many months on it, the red thread ran a bit when I washed it. It's not TOO noticeable, but unfortunately, I stitched her name in red, and I can see light pink "smears" around the letters... I even handwashed this in the tub with mild detergent so it wouldn't do this. Any suggestions on how to fix this? (The stocking is stitched together now with a liner and felt backing.) I am now working on my son's stocking and am terrified the same thing will happen to it - it's got a LOT more red in it than my daughter's.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by callygirl » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:06 pm

I have typically hand-washed smaller projects and only use the washing machine for larger ones. I only use liquid soap or Woolite.

Also, I have found that ironing between two white tea towels while damp really goes a long way to giving the stitching a starched look without the starch.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by aj101 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:23 pm

This is a very useful thread!! I tend to hand wash mine in hand warm water with a small squirt of non-bio laundry detergent to get the marks off. I worry about machine washing them as I would be heart broken if it were to get damaged after I ahev spent ages doing the piece.

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by mcmin001 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:05 pm

I hand wash all of mine and roll in a towel to dry then lay out to finish drying i iron between to towels. The only thing is I have some hand dyed fabric that can not be washed so I have to be real careful with those pieces.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by ejutte » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:18 am

I find placing the fabric in the frame (or hoop) so that I handle only the back of the fabric makes washing unnecessary in most cases.

That said, I'm new on this forum, and I'd be afraid to try some of the techniques described here. You stitchers are bold!

I look forward to reading more of your posts. :D
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by HalbertMusik » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:56 pm


Last night I washed a medium-sized project - 80x150 stitches.

To do this, I rolled it up slightly and put it in one of my wife' nylon stockings (being a man, I do not have a lingere bag...). It was put in a normal dark wash, normal spin with our usual detergent. My only real concern was the possibility of some of the thread colours running as they were not all from standard suppliers - particularly the reds.

As it turned out, nothing ran and everything came out as it should.

Now on to the mounting!

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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by tiffstitch » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Hmm, is a lingerie bag a requirement if you're a woman? I don't even know if I have nylons. Glad everything came out okay and good luck with mounting.

I generally hand wash in my sink with some mild dish detergent. I've never attempted the washing machine, but I might try it since so many of you have had success. It would be easier.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by BuffyLove » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:47 pm

Violet - that's good to know, I'm using DMC threads on my current project so glad to hear they won't run!

Has anyone had issues with the actual aida running? I'm working on navy blue aida and it's the first time I'll wash any of my work and the first time I've used a colour other than white or cream.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Rose » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:30 pm

I have never had thread or aida run when I washed them. I have washed everything since I started this craft 25+ years ago.
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by Jewels526 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:30 pm

This is freaking me out! I’ve already started my cross stitch and just noticed that the directions specify to wash and dry the thread before beginning. Consequently, I’m not sure if I should wash my cross stitch when I’m done because the colors may bleed. I’m working on a kit that has some other thread, not the usual DMC that I’m used to.

Any advice?
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Re: Washing Finished Projects

by sullyzgirl79 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:18 pm

I use a few drops of Dawn and hen roll them in a towel to get the extra water out and then lay them flat to dry, they end up a bit still but like it that way.
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