Congratulations! You just finished your project! Now before rushing to frame it or turn it into a pillow or whichever finishing idea you have in mind, you will have to begin by washing your cross-stitch.
Why wash your cross-stitch?
No matter how hard you were careful or cared for your fabric while working, your project will have come across a few residual oils whether from your hands or dust. Some body oils from your hand for example may have been transferred to the fabric. You may not see stains right there and now, but with time stains might develop. In order for your piece to last, a few steps must be taken.
How to wash the cross-stitch?
First of all, start by gently running it under cold water. If your piece has additional items such as beads, be extra careful. If you start noticing colors changing, it may simply be the fabric becoming transparent when wet and the colors from the back showing. However, if you do notice some color bleeding, we’ll explain how to fix it later on in this article.
Next, place the piece in cold water. You can also use a little bit of soap or detergent, but don’t overdo it. Gently wash your piece without scrubbing or pulling too hard. Your stitches may be solid in place but can go loose if there is some intense scrubbing.
Let the water drain out of the fabric. Don’t squeeze it out! Then, place it on a dry towel and roll it. Give it a tiny squeeze and unroll it. Keep doing so until all the water is gone. It may still be a little damp, so leave it face up on the towel to air dry.
What if there is some color bleeding?
Newer “models” of threads have a very low chance of color bleeding. The most common bleeding risk is for the bright hard colors like red for example. Not only can they bleed but they may overpower other colors in the piece. If this happens, go back to rinsing in cold water until the bleeding stops. Wash again the affected area and evaluate how bad the stain is. Most of the time, you should be fine and all the bleeding gone since you (of course) didn’t leave it to dry out.
Should you iron your piece?
So far, I haven’t really felt the need to do any ironing on my cross-stitch. I am extremely careful, almost compulsive, with hoop marks and storing so by the end I’m pretty much covered. Since this is not always the case with everyone, here’s what to do if you need to do some ironing. As a start, it is important to note that you should not be using too much heat. Place your piece face down between two towels and iron with on a warm level.
Here’s what you need to know for now about washing your cross-stitch piece. Now, when you frame it, you will have peace of mind about the durability of your work.
Your turn to tell us your stories! Any other or extra steps you take when washing your cross-stitch? Ever faced an emergency while washing? Let us know in the comments below!