not a quilting question

nannykinsMarch 7, 2014

I used to do a lot of cross-stitch and I have two framed pieces hanging in the kitchen since 1990. Over time I have noticed that the white fabric was becoming dusty. I take a vacuum to them occasionally to remove surface dust. (They are not under glass).
This morning, I decided to take one apart and wash it. Oh my! The white Aida cloth is very tan in colour. I have had it soaking in the sink for about an hour and it is not getting whiter. Do you think I could use a colour-safe bleach without hurting the embroidery threads?
Or do I learn to live with tan backgrounds?
Theresa

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loisflan

Hi, Theresa. If you've had them hanging in a kitchen environment for almost 25 years, my guess is that the tan color is more than just discoloration. An unbelievable amount of grease from cooking settles on things in the kitchen. I don't know if bleaching would take care of that.

That being said, if you have any embroidery floss laying around, you could try soaking it in the color-safe bleach to see what happens.

If you love your cross-stitched pieces, I'd be gentle with them. Better tan that ruined. I did some crewel embroidery in the 70's that I would give my eye teeth to have today. I have no idea what happened to it.

Good luck. Lois

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 12:06PM
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quiltingfox

Try Woolite, it's gentle, but good on removing stains. If you use Clorox2 Stain Remover & Color Booster (color safe bleach) only use it if you are soaking it in water, if you put it on fabric that is dry and let the blue color safe bleach soak in and then let it dry it is very difficult to rinse out the blue color.

Best to you,
Sandra

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 3:50PM
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toolgranny

There's a product that removes the tan from white quilts with just soaking. I think it is called Restoration or something. It is amazing and turns the tan to a bright white before your eyes. I would think it would work just as well on Aida cloth. But, it is great and doesn't affect colors at all. I wouldn't use any bleach type product.

I have another brand at home but am not close by right now.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 5:37PM
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kathi_mdgd

As an avid cross stitcher I'd say not to use woolite.When I first started stitching many years ago I thought woolite also,but the stitching world,magazines advise against it.

I wash all my cs when I finish stitching and I use just a small drop of Dawn,blue(original) dish liquid,as do many of the folks on the sites I belong to.Wash and rinse very well,roll in a towel and press face down on a towel.

You may not get it all out,but it will look better.Several years ago when I was visiting family on the east coast my sister had a stitched piece that one of her friends had done for her,years ago,like yours age took it's toll on it ,worse yet the lady must not have washed the piece when she finished it,or kept her hands clean as she stitched it as you could see her actual fingerprints in the fabric.

I took it all apart,soaked it,washed and ironed it,once I got it as clean as possible.It wasn't "as new" but what better than it had been,and none of the floss lost any of it's color.
Kathi

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 5:48PM
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nannykins

Thank you all ! The piece has been soaking most of the day in just dishwashing liquid. It seems to be lightening a bit.
I will look for your product toolgranny before I use anything else.
I think under glass is probably the best route for anything you want to,preserve for years to come.
Theresa

This post was edited by nannykins on Sun, Mar 9, 14 at 11:08

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 6:00PM
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calliope

My husband does very ornate cross-stitching and we have learnt over the years to put them all under glass, and some are exquisite enough we even spring for the very expensive museum quality. Do not ever mount them on those glue-boards, either. Use the non acid paper for mats as well.

Believe it or not, I've used a dilute bleach solution on some of the ones we 'reclaimed' from his early efforts where they were not under glass, and it did not affect the dmc thread. You might also try fels naptha laundry bars. It does wonders on old stains and yellowing.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:06PM
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kathi_mdgd

Calliope,
Can you show us some of your dh's stitching?? I'd love to see it,and I'm sure others would as well.TIA
Kathi

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 7:04PM
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calliope

Here is one he did and donated to his church. There are over 220 thousand stitches in it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 7:22PM
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nannykins

Oh my word!! That is fantastic!
Theresa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 8:52PM
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nannykins

Just an update
I googled Restoration and could not find a Place here in Canada to buy.
But one reviewer said that the ingredients were the same as in Oxi Clean. That I have. So the piece has been soaking for two days.. It is much better but not perfect. I can live with it but just tonight, I found something called Retro clean and I could order it online. Done! So the second piece will wait till that product comes.
Thank you all for your suggestions and hints.
Theresa

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:06PM
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quiltnhen

Wow! Incredible work.
LindaB/CA

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:07PM
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bloomorelse

Wow, what a beautiful piece.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:40PM
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quiltingfox

Calliope your husband's cross-stitch is beautiful!

Best to you,
Sandra

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:53PM
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kathi_mdgd

OMG,Calliope,that is Wonderful.I'm so glad to see men stitching.I tried to get my dh to try it,but he has the patients of a flea.He loves seeing what I do though,in cross stitch and sewing,especially quilting.
Tell him I said wonderful job.
tfs
Kathi

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 10:30PM
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calliope

I didn't mean to take this thread off course, but I shall show my husband your comments. His love of it started about twenty years ago when the ladies of the church we attended asked for help cross stitching Christmas tree ornaments and I brought some patterns and cloth home. He was curious and I showed him how and that was all she wrote. He outclassed my stitching quickly and I just gave it up and let him have it and eventually found my way to quilting. Yes, it does take a lot of patience and he is terribly picky with it. He is a large man with big hands and shoulders like an ox since he's a retired butcher and meat cutter, and it's cute to watch him work.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:27PM
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