Taking Care of your Cross Stitch Fabric

There’s nothing worse than ruining your cross stitch fabric halfway through your project. A lot of things can happen, from an unfortunate coffee spill to blood droplets from an accidental needle prick. I once burned my hand and ended up getting burn cream all over my fabric without noticing.

Here are a few tips about caring for your fabric and how to recover from life’s little incidents.

Do’s of Cross Stitch Fabric Care

  • Do wash your hands before manipulating the fabric. My burn cream ended up leaving hideous brown stains, but so can regular hand cream. More importantly, your body oils can be transferred and stain as well. Don’t forget to dry your hands after washing.
  • Do clean your hoops, needles and scissors before using them on your project. We all try to keep a clean house, but dirt and stains sometimes pop up out of nowhere.
  • If you’re not working on your piece, do safely store it, especially if you have kids or pets or are especially clumsy.
  • If you accidentally spilled tea or coffee or whatever, do wash at once. Don’t let it dry. The longer the stain remains, the harder it will be to clean it up.
  • Do use lukewarm water when cleaning your finished project. If you notice a few of the colors bleeding, don’t let it dry. Instead, soak the fabric in cold water and rinse it. Repeat until all the bleeding is gone.

Don’ts of Cross-Stitch Fabric Care

  • Don’t drink or eat while working on your project. I can not tell you how many times I spilled a few drops of coffee or tea on my fabric (I’m very clumsy, I’m sure you realized by now). What I do these days is just take a break and enjoy my coffee and food as far away from my project as possible.
  • Don’t smoke near your project. Even if stains can be fixed, burn holes can’t.
  • Don’t leave your piece in the hoop when you’re not working on it. Otherwise, your fabric will end up with stretch marks that are impossible to iron out. Just put it back in when you want to continue stitching.
  • Don’t forget your needle in your fabric. Not only can you accidentally prick yourself and stain the fabric with blood, but if you forget it for a long time, the needle can rust leaving even worse stains.
  • Do not dry-clean your completed project!
  • If you want to clean several completed pieces at once, do not wash them together. It only takes a few minutes extra to wash them individually without ruining them all.

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