Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Can anyone help my friend ?????

Hi everyone!!
Hope you are all doing well.

I over heard a friend at work (Margie) talking about
a stitchery that she was having an issue with.
The conversation wasn't with me but when I heard
"I have never seen embroidery thread do that. I don't know what to do"
I couldn't help but pay attention and
become involved!!!!

 With each pregnancy she completed a stitchery and
had it framed to hang on the wall for each child,
which have now been passed onto grandchildren.
Sweet isn't it!!

However one of the stitcheries has discolored and
looks almost tea stained in color.

Margie would like to wash it to clean it,
but she was worried about color fastness.

So she tested a small patch of color with a wet cotton bud 
and the color came off the thread onto the cotton bud!!!
So now she is scared to wash it in case the
threads smudge and leech color everywhere!!!!

Is there anything she can do????
Does anyone have any suggestions????
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Hugs n Kisses
Barb :)


  1. I made a black & white quilt last year and even though I pre washed the fabric the black coloured my hands as I was sewing down the binding.After searching online for a solution I went to coles & bought colour catchers they are fantastic as the quilt came out of the wash without any runs, hope this helps.

  2. I think Marienne could have the only solution, Barb. If the threads run there is no way of stopping them staining the fabric without a catcher. Years ago lots of threads would run if washed. Some still do actually. :-(

  3. Recently I had someone tell me about the color catcher sheets and how great they are. I have not tried them...yet, but here I see Marienne suggests the same. It seems worth a try.

  4. HI Barb - oh that is sad, after such work gone into making such a lovely piece of work. I strongly suggest that your friend does not put a drop of water or any form of cleaning product near the piece - I really think she should use the Embroiderers Guild in her State as a start to make inquiries on how to go about caring for it. Jenny is right; threads that are this old are probably not colourfast and no amount of Colour Catcher sheets are going to prevent colour bleeding onto the fabric. This is now what is most likely classed as a 'vintage' piece or textile, and must be treated with absolute respect, lest it be ruined by modern cleaning methods.
    I'd love to know how your friends gets on - will you keep us informed?!

  5. Sorry, don't have anything useful to add, but loved reading the solutions. Crafty people are always so helpful.

  6. Hello Barb,

    Either contact your Historical Society, Musuem, Embroidery Guild, get as much information from these people as possible.

    Good luck.

  7. I think everyone above has nailed all suggestions. Tell your work fingers are crossed that all works out for her. :)

  8. Hi.
    I live in Canada so am unfamiliar with the resources in your area. When I have had a "needs to be rescued textile" situation I've contacted our big museum's textile department or the local textile museum and explained the situation. They've put me in touch with their resident experts. Sometimes there is a small fee involved which is more like a donation but it is very reasonable. I am guessing with the current rate of exchange probably around $AUS5-10.00. This might be worth pursuing as they will know of the products etc that are likely to not cause damage while removing the stains.

    Hope that helps. RJ