Cross Stitch

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Washing My Cross stitch

There has been many questions over the last few years on how to wash your cross stitch projects once completed. There has also been a lot of stitchers who are completely against washing their projects. I’m defiantly one for washing! There are more pros than cons when it comes to washing (for me anyway) as I’ve grown up with my mum always washing hers, so I’ve never given it a second thought.

Yes, of course there are fabrics & floss that cannot be washed (hand dyed, over dyed & silks come to mind). I’ve washed my projects without ever any problems! Mickey is a Disney Dreams kit & I was worried that the red in his robe would run when I washed him, so I colour tested the colours I was worried about & much to my excitement, they didn’t! I went on to wash him & loved how he turned out…

So when it came to Do Bears? getting closer to being finished, I decided to share with you my washing process. I never do it without thinking about the floss/fabric & whether or not my project can actually be washed. The great thing about DMC is that the colours don’t run (I have heard that DMC reds have run but, I’ve never had any problems :)) so I wasn’t as careful with it as I was with Mickey… For Do Bears? there was a lot of dust & stains that were already on the fabric & I used a washable marker to mark out borders & the trees when I needed to. So after 15 months of stitching, I felt it defiantly needed a wash.

Here are the reasons why I do wash my work…

  • Dust – I tend to leave my projects out while stitching them for days at a time (my Châtelaine is the exception & is always put away) so they tend to get dusty!
  • Squashed stitches – This is something I don’t really worry about. I stitch with hoops so there can be squashed stitches at the end. If I didn’t wash, the stitches would pop back up after a couple of days without being in a hoop & after a good iron!
  • Fabric – It ends up looking dull & lifeless, especially if it’s a big project & I’ve been holding it for a period of time. Oils, stains & sometimes sweat from my hand can make it dull too.
  • Stitches – They too, can end up looking dull, squashed & lifeless for the same reasons just mentioned.
  • The finished look – The things I stitch will be framed, so it scares me to think of what would happen if I didn’t wash my work. After a wash, everything looks clean, crisp, the fabric is bright ,clean & the stitches have no dust trapped & they pop!

While I was filming, I took photos to show my process. This what I used…


  • The bucket I’ve had for years. I got it from the Reject Shop. I use it in my laundry sink when washing delicate items.
  • A towel. It can be any towel. I suggest an old one that doesn’t have any excess dye like new ones do. Or a white towel.
  • A delicate wash. Something like wool wash that you would use for hand washing delicate clothing or woollens. I use Softly, it’s an Australian brand so I’m not sure if you can buy it outside Oz.

I do not suggest washing your projects in dish wash liquid. I think it’s too harsh and abrasive for something so delicate. That is just my opinion, if you like or prefer to try dish wash liquid that’s cool too 🙂

Here is the link on what DMC recommends 🙂

Photos of the process…

BEFORE… Water is clear…


AFTER…. This is taken just before I removed the water… See how dirty is is?!


Once I have rinsed it, I put it on the towel, on a flat surface…


I then roll it all up, pushing on it to get all the excess water out…


I NEVER leave it over night to dry or even a couple of hours. Having it sitting there in the wet, may lead to the colours running… Even if colour fast!

Once the excess water is out, I iron it face down until almost completely dry…


Then I leave it to dry on a clothes drying rack, after I will give it another iron.

Here are some before & after photos of Mickey as the weather didn’t co-operate when I tried with Do Bears so I couldn’t get a good picture…

BEFORE!! You can see where the hoop was last & the colours look dull…


AFTER!! The colours are brighter & no more hoop marks 🙂


Here is Do Bears? completely finished!!


I hope you enjoyed my post! Remember if you are not 100% sure if the colours won’t run, COLOUR TEST FIRST!

The link for my YouTube channel is on the left side bar 🙂


Naomi 🙂


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