Washing Aida cloth

Question: Am I supposed to wash the aida cloth before I start my cross stitch project? It is often so stiff I can hardly get the hoop around it!

Thanks, Pamela Griggs

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wondering
by: Anonymous

Does that mean that the Aida fabric I ordered isn't Aida then?

I want the stiffness of it, but when I got my order it's not stiff at all! I hold for a min and its super soft I am having a hard time…

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Washing Aida, Hoops
by: Debbie Rice

If you just want the stiff to go away, you can just rinse a colorfast aida in cool water without any complicated washing directions or arguments about different solutions to use.

If you are more comfortable with a hoop (while I agree with Valerie that q-snaps and other non creasing holding devices are better -- it's your project and you want to do what's comfortable and pleasant for you), ALWAYS take hoop off when you put your stitching away versus storing your work in progress in the hoop. Unless you stitch more than 8 hours straight in a day, this prevents the major almost-impossible-to-iron-out creases.

If project completely fits within hoop, don't even worry about the creases that will not be seen once your piece is framed or stitched into bellpull, pillow, etc.

Don't forget to occasionally clean your plastic hoops in case they pick up any oils or grunge from your hands/projects.

If using wooden hoops, beware of machine oil from manufacturing wood turning process.

Particularly with wood hoops but also useful for plastic hoops -- layer your project as bottom hoop, fabric, acid free tissue paper or plain white paper napkin, top hoop. Then rip whole in tissue paper to expose your stitching area. The paper just gives a little more protection.

I work for a needlework shop and the 80+ year old lady who stitches our large Mirabilia and Lavender and Lace angels as shop models -- she uses a small hoop and I have never seen a hoop mark on her work. She never leaves hoop on when putting work away.

The hoop horror stories are from a variety of hoops that have had machine oil staining a person's work, so rough projects got snagged, creases from hoops left on for months or years, and really bad creases from hoops left on needlework that wasn't kept clean so the creases have added grunge ...

Just take off hoop when putting project down.

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Washing Aida cloth
by: Valerie Kalyani

You can wash the Aida cloth to remove any sizing and soften it. But I would not use a hoop. I used to but now I only use scroll bars or Q-Snaps. Hoops are rough on needlework fabrics and often leave permanent creases in the cloth. If you use a hoop on a piece of linen, you will very disappointed when all the pressing in the world does not remove the creases.

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washing linen

by Peggy D
(Texas)

Question: I recently purchased 100% Belgium Linen. Do I wash it before I begin my project? And if so, how do I wash this type of linen?

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Washing Linen
by: Debbie Rice

The dressing or sizing manufacturer's place on linen -- it's personal preference whether you like stitching on the stiffer unwashed piece or want to wash for a softer linen (softer usually preferred by stitchers who stitch linen in hand instead of in hoop or frame).

If you have creases in the fabric, particularly if you'll be using non-colorfast overdyed specialty threads that cannot be steam ironed or washed after stitching -- you need to steam out or wash out the creases before starting your project. If using regular embroidery floss, you can follow standard project washing directions found on this and other sites such as Just Cross-Stitch magazines resident expert here http://www.serve.com/marbeth/blocking.html.

If you wash - do not ever wring plain or stitched fabric. In addition to Orvus there are now a lot of quilt and cotton heirloom wash products to look at label - only ingredient should be "Sodium lauryl sulfate" - and you can use those safely with cool water on colorfast fabric and threads.

Linen straightens nicely just tugging on diagonal without a lot of worrying about wetting down to do major blocking.

Not sure if threads or fabric colorfast? Put a snip in clear container of water for an hour and see.

Solid color belfast or 32-count linens are likely colorfast (particularly name brands like Zweigart, Wichelt, DMC, Charles Craft, etc.) but never hurts to test a corner to see.

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Washing linen
by: Jane

I was advised not to wash some Irish linen before embroidering it, as it was "dressed" for easier embroidering and this would have washed out. I decided to do my project first, and to wash when finished. Needlework Tips & Techniques have some great advice on washing technique on their web site.
Jane

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How do I remove creases in aida cloth

by Jennifer Ambrose
(Perth, Western Aus, Australia)

Question: I have purchased many pre-packed cross stitch kits and the aida cloth always has pressed creases it it. I wondered how I can remove them as they show when the cloth has been stitched on. I have tried washing it, ironing it (even with a damp cloth) and using spray starch but nothing removes these creases.

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question
by: babs

I have finished my project...but am worried about the back the under stitching raveling...is there an iron on to cover it up and protect it? Seems like I have seen it sometime in my lifetime??

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getting creases out of stitching fabric
by: Phyllis

Have you tried using a cold damp cloth on the inside of the crease and instead of moving the iron back and forth, put it down directly on the crease and hold it (steam it) down for a few seconds?

Pick up the iron and move it over to another spot. If this doesn't work, you could take it to a 'professional' (not just anyone) dry cleaners and they will remove it for you. I had a yard of AIDA fabric that I tried the old fashioned way of 'pressing' it and didn't remove it so well. I took it to my dry cleaners and 'bingo', came out beautiful.

Ask them 'not to fold it across a wire hanger' when it is finished.

Good luck.
Phyllis

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Stubborn creases in Aida
by: Carol

Jennifer,

Sadly there isn't a lot you can try to remove these stubborn creases from your Aida cloth. One thing that is worth a try is to wash the piece then lay it face down on a thick piece of towelling and iron it dry as described in my washing cross stitch page.

The problem stems from how the fabric is originally produced. The manufacturer sells it in either rolled bolts or folded ones. The folded ones have the fabric folded into half then folded into a concertina form before shipping. These bolts normally hold 30 metres of fabric. The other way it can be supplied is in 50m rolls where there are no folds. However it is more difficult to store and transport, being very heavy!

I always try to order the 50m rolls but sometimes have to settle for the folded bolts. When using the latter for making up kits I refuse to cut a piece that crosses over that centre fold line as the crease is almost impossible to remove. This does mean wasting some fabric but I prefer to do this rather than have an upset customer such as yourself.

For my larger kits, the ones that have bigger pieces of fabric in them, I use a larger bag to pack the kit. This means I do not have to fold it so many times to fit it in the bag. I also do not press the folds, either with an iron or with my fingers preferring them to gently curve rather than lie totally flat in the pack. Hopefully this will reduce if not eliminate the stubborn crease problem.

If you notice a really sharp crease in the fabric in a kit you purchase before you start stitching, you could try returning it to the seller and asking for a different piece of Aida.

Sorry if I haven't been of much help in removing the creases from your existing pieces.

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