Do you prewash your floss before

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2003
Do you prewash your floss before
2
Tue, 05-04-2004 - 9:07am
sttiching, or at least test for color-fastness?

Have you ever stitched a project and, when washing it, had thread run? How did you fix this, if it happened?

I have never color tested floss before using it as I believed that most, if not all modern cottons are using colorfast dyes, but after reading about overdyeds and variegateds having a "tendency" to bleed, and seeing a comment in an article about redwork that stated that most modern reds have a tendency to bleed, I started wondering how one might "fix" a project where bleeding has already happened.

Here are a few of the points I found when doing a brief search of the internet:

On http://www.craftster.org/yabbse/index.php?board=81;action=display;threadid=3338

"Regular DMC floss is supposed to be colorfast according to the manufacturer. I've used it on clothes lots of times and haven't had any problems so far, but I always wash embroidered clothes in cold water. Hand dyed, overdyed and varigiated threads (including the variegiated DMC) isn't colorfast."

On http://prettyimpressivestuff.com/redwork.htm

"... most modern reds are prone to bleeding. A friend suggested that you should soak your skein in vinegar and water for twenty minutes in order to "set" the color, then roll it in a towel to wring out excess water and allow to air dry to prevent bleeding. Admittedly, my local heirloom sewing center only sells Anchor, believing their reds are less likely to bleed. Recently, I discussed this with the owner of my local needle shop and she said that DMC guarantees their floss to be colorfast and she was upset that I had had items bleed and wanted me to contact DMC or bring her the items and let her do it for me. Of course, she also gladly sold me six skeins of red Anchor, so that I could do a field test.

"The critical factor here seem to be to keep your thread dry while working, so never wet your floss before you thread it!"



???How to test for colorfastness?

From http://www.quiltmaker.com/webextras/patt59/

"Before embroidering the design, test thread for colorfastness by immersing an embroidered sample in warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes and then remove the fabric. Gently squeeze the sample between layers of paper towel or muslin to check for stains. Do not use any floss that bleeds."

From http://www.ehow.com/how_5018_select-prepare-materials.html

"Unwrap and prewash dark-colored embroidery floss if you are not certain of its colorfastness. Most readily available commercial brands of floss do not need to be prewashed. Prewash embroidery floss by immersing individual skeins in separate glass containers of distilled water - at room temperature. Move floss around in water. If color bleeds into water, remove skein and repeat process with fresh water until color no longer bleeds. Remove floss from water and allow to dry."


???What if, despite all your care, the floss bleeds anyway? Is your work ruined? Can it be fixed?

From http://www.nostalgianeedlework.com/html/hints.htm

"Wash your work by hand in cold water using a wool detergent or baby shampoo. Do not be frightened if the colour starts to run or bleed. This is very unlikely with the use of the main brands of embroidery threads, such as DMC, Anchor, JP Coats or Madeira, but may occur with some lesser-known brands. If the colour does start to run you must continue rinsing until the bleeding stops. Keep changing the rinse water until you are sure that there is no more colour coming out. You may be worried about washing your work if it contains speciality threads and beads. For peace of mind it may be best to wash the embroidery before adding these elements to your work, with a final press on completion of the project."


From http://www.jdr-be.com/rajmahal_art_silks.htm

"Due to changes in anti-pollution laws, certain dye-setting agents can no longer be used. This means it is more difficult to set dyes. If slight "bleeding" occur, simply continue to rinse with cool water until all residue has gone."



CL for

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-04-2004 - 5:04pm

I have never either pre-washed or tested my floss before using it. I have used a lot of the dark reds and greens in DMC floss and have never had a problem with colors running. I HAVE noticed however that the color will rub off somewhat onto your fabric as you stitch, and if you have to tear out stitches in an area that is not going to be stitched over in another color, you are left with "ghosts" of the stitches you ripped out. Fortunately, when I have washed my pieces after the stitching was complete, these ghost colors have always washed out to the point that they are not obvious.


I am trying to decide what to do with my Lizzie Kate when it is finished. I really like washing my fabric after stitching because it seems to "tighten up" the stitches and even them out more. But with the over-dyed flosses, they are more likely to run and the manufacturers take the safe route and recommend against washing them. I have been trying to keep my hands scrupulously clean while working on it, but any piece that gets handled this much will get some oil from your hands on it.

Becky


Smiles are contageous . . . . Pass them around!


Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2003
Tue, 05-04-2004 - 5:29pm
I guess the only solution is to use cool water, gentle detergent like dishwashing liquid and just rinse and rinse and rinse until no more color bleeds... It should work in a stitched piece as easily as in floss by itself.

Of course, you could always have it dry-cleaned... that ought to raise a few eyebrows at the local dry-cleaning establishment!

I've seen that same color ghosting, and I thinl it isn't so much dye from the floss as "fuzz", since floss seems to get thinner and thinner the longer one stitches with it (haven't you noticed the last several stitches on a lenght of a strand of floss don't cover nearly as well as the first ones?).



CL for