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Thread: How do I safely clean counted cross stitch pieces?

  1. #11
    Super Member spartan quilter's Avatar
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    I have to thank everyone for the great suggestions. I am going to start with one at a time, the gentlest soap solutions, and go from there. I will be slow on this project, as I am also doing a DJ, finishing the remodeling of my sewing room and office room, so it will be awhile before posting a finished project, but hope to have it finished for next Christmas. I also want to do her initials and the year date of when she finished each one. So, I have to do that before even starting to clean them up. Thanks again, to all, for the very helpful suggestions and any more that may be posted. Always so many wonderful people here.
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  2. #12
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan quilter View Post
    My daughter did 10 blocks of counted cross stitch and wants me to incorporate them into a quilt, but they have some stains/discoloration on them, and I am wondering the safest way to clean them. Any suggestions or help that I can get will be greatly appreciated.

    Attachment 307515This is the first picture and not sure if you can see the discoloration. The pictures measure about 12x15.

    Attachment 307516This is the second picture. She marked on her folder that these were in, when she had completed them, and she had completed the first one in 1984. So, age does play a part in the discoloration.

    Thanks for any help/advice that anyone can give me.

    Same answer as always--------soak in a Oxy-clean bath with a lot of Oxy-clean. Slosh around a bit and soak a few hours, then gingerly rinse.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    Looks like you may have some rust stains from a metal hoop?? My best guess for that would be Oxyclean. Good luck! If you do get the stains out, then dry flat on a towel and carefully iron with Mary Ellen's Best Press. It is a starch substitute that works like a dream to eliminate wrinkles.

  4. #14
    Senior Member YukonViv's Avatar
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    Don't worry about being too gentle, DMC threads and aida cloth can take a lot of wear and tear. I wash all my washable cross stitch (as opposed to the non-washable kind, anything done in a specialty thread like a hand dyed or over dyed thread) in a tub of warm water with Ivory dish soap. Any marks I scrub, doesn't hurt it.

    When I've rinsed, I place face down on a towel, roll gently and pop it into the freezer. The next day, I pull it out, let it thaw for a minute or two, gently unroll and press. The steaming action does a wonderful job of taking out any wrinkles, fold lines, etc...and makes it great for cutting and sewing. Plus, the smell of the Ivory soap is an added bonus.
    Vivian
    Yukon Territory, Canada
    www.quiltingunderthemidnightsun.blogspot.ca

  5. #15
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    I also use warm water and dawn dish soap in a basin (usually bathroom sink) of water. Swish around, rinse a few times to get out all the soap and wrap in a towel for a bit then lay flat to dry. I've done cross-stich for years and never had an issue with DMC dyes running when cleaning in this fashion. Might need to go with a heavier detergent on the stains if they don't come out the first time. I'd be careful with the heavier detergents on the yarn, however.

  6. #16
    Senior Member AprilG's Avatar
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    I find that the OxyClean works best too. But as a suggestion...Whenever I have a cross stitch piece that will be machine washed, I always use some fusible backing. Iron it on really well and then you can machine wash to your hearts content. Sometimes, if I need a really stiff backing. I will use the backing, stitch the piece, then iron on more backing. This works well in framing a piece. One piece of lightweight backing works best for quilts and wearables. By the way, I love her pieces. They are very well done.
    April
    Is there a doctor in the house? I just got bit by the quilting bug!

  7. #17
    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    If she used DMC flosses you shouldn't have any problems, the colors aren't really dark. I think the running colors from the 80's were like the reds and blacks. The stains look like rust from a metal hoop. I have used anything from dishwashing liquid to Woolite on my cross stitch stuff to clean it, I've even sprayed it with stain remover if necessary. Good luck getting those stains out.
    Laura

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