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Washing embroidery... colour bleeding?

Washing embroidery... colour bleeding?

Old 10-10-2009, 07:37 AM
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Ok, this may seem like an ignorant question, but you ladies who embroider onto quilt blocks, can the quilt be properly laundered after that?

I mean, does the embroidery thread or floss tend to bleed colour onto your quilt?
I'm planning on embroidering a monogram onto the center block of my mariner's compass that I'm working on. It's a commission, and it's for a gift for someone special, so the last thing I want is for the recipiant to wash her quilt and it gets ruined because of the embroidery floss...
I will be using DMC floss, if it changes anything. Should I soak my floss in mr. clean or somethign else first just to be sure?
My embroidery will be a dark-ish royal blue, on a white center....
Please give me your opinions and other options if you can think of something that could help me out.
Thanks in advance :)
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:50 AM
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I've never used DMC, I run a commercial embroidery machine...however the answer to your question lies in the type of thread. Rayon embroidery thread can bleed a little bit in some colors (esp. red), however the bleed will generally come out if washed a second time. Polyester embroidery threads will not bleed, even if washed in harsh industrial chemicals.

Hope this helps.

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Old 10-10-2009, 07:53 AM
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Sorry to say, but yes DMC does bleed. I would use 100% polyester thread.
I did a cross stitch once that bled with the DMC.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:59 AM
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And blue DMC is almost as bad as red when it comes to bleeding.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:24 AM
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Ack, thanks for the heads up!
Maybe what I will do is instead of making bold letting and filling it in with colour, I will do an outline, using regular thread, just using two or three threads at once...

Sort of like if I used this lettering...

That's how I was planning on stitching my label on the back, but with regular text, none of this fancy script like the front.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:35 AM
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everything I read about embroidery flosses, reccommends that you soak a little, and then press with a cloth, kind of like fabrics, before you stitch.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:55 AM
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I have used embroidery thread for years that doesn't bleed. Huh .... ??? It says boilfast on it though, maybe that is the secret.

That being said, I would do a samll mock up of it and wash it to try it out so you would know for sure it is safe. That beauriful quilt does not need to be ruined after all your nice work.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:48 AM
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There was a recent thread on this topic that had some really useful information in it; worth searching for. I can't remember everything, but apparently safety laws for workers have changed some of the dyes and mordants that can be used in embroidery thread (chemical exposures), so many of the newer embroidery threads are not as colorfast as the old ones. Also, I believe many people now pre-wash their embroidery thread. It might be worthwhile to use Retayne to do this, similar to how it would be used for a fabric.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:29 AM
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I wouldn't toss out your idea just yet. Do a little test with your thread and fabric ...just soak together in a bowl of water. If it bleeds, you can soak the thread in retayne...then do another test.

Good luck...sounds lovely, can't wait to see it!
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:18 AM
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I recently used some red DMC for a hand blanket stitch on a quilt and it bled like crazy and stained my top. I was not able to get the color out and was so disappointed that I have not touched the quilt since---and the sad thing about it is that it is a round robin quilt so the other blocks were all from my friends.
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