Congratulate me! I dug out some unfinished cross stitch projects the other day and finished them! Only to be faced with the dreaded smudges and stains...they’re the bane of a cross stitcher’s existence! There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction you feel when a cross stitch project is complete. Unfortunately, the feeling of satisfaction can quickly diminish when you discover smudges and stains all over your fabric. Obviously, the best thing you can do is prevent smudging and staining from happening to begin with by using these simple tips for cross stitch cleanliness:
1. Wash your hands frequently while stitching to keep body oils from staining the fabric.
2. Wash your hoop occasionally with soap and water to remove dirt and debris.
3. Be sure to remove the hoop when you’re not stitching, so your fabric won’t become soiled with hoop marks.
4. Reposition the hoop each time you begin working to avoid handling the fabric in the same spot over and over.
5. Store your project in a bag or basket when you’re not working to protect it from dust and spills.
|The Woods Behind My House
Sometimes, even with the utmost care (which I neglected), a stitched piece becomes stained or soiled. Don’t worry! Here’s a list of tips to help you clean your project:
1. Soak the cross stitch piece for a few minutes in a solution of cold water and a small amount of mild detergent, baby shampoo, or dishwashing liquid.
2. Gently rub the spots with the tips of your fingers. If a spot is stubborn, rub it with a corner of the fabric to help loosen the dirt.
3. Rinse the project several times in clear water.
4. Roll the piece between two clean towels and squeeze gently without wringing. Don’t let any part of the piece come in contact with itself.
5. Lay the project face down and iron it until it’s completely dry. Never let a project dry while folded or in a heap because wrinkles will become virtually impossible to remove.
|A Tale of Three Fish
There are some precautions to keep in mind. Don’t use protective spray finish on any cross stitch project because it may cause a chemical reaction with the thread dyes. You may also want to avoid having your projects dry cleaned. If a certain fabric requires dry cleaning, you should advise the dry cleaner that a reaction may occur between the thread dyes and the chemicals.
Most projects can be saved by following these simple cross stitch tips, but since there aren’t any guarantees, it’s always best to practice prevention.
Do you have any good cross stitch tips to share?