Water Stains from Old Embroidery?

by Nick
(Dubai, UAE)

I have an approx 50 year old large embroidery picture on what appears to be a cotton backing cloth that belonged to my mother. It has been framed as a picture for most of its life by being folded around a piece of plywood with a glass front as per a normal picture.

At some stage it obviously got damp and there are some localised water stains on the backing cloth (outside of the main embroidered area and hence visible). It looks like standard embroidery thread on a cotton cloth backing.

Is there any 'safe' way of removing the water stains before we re-frame it?

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removed blue color frm white emb color
by: mrs yunas

How 2 remove blue color frm white emb plz tell me

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Wool Embroidered Cotton
by: Anonymous

I have a piece that was embroidered for my son when he was born. They had it mounted and framed. I believe it is embroidered with wool yarn on cotton. Since my son will soon be a father, I thought I would take it off the frame, clean it and turn it into a pillow for the new baby. What are the best recommendations for the cleaning method. It is approximately 26 years old and has yellowed.

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Removing stains from needlework
by: Anonymous

I have found Oxiclean to be marvelous for removing stains from stitchery. You may have to soak it several times, in the warmest water you think it can tolerate, but I have yet to find a piece that won't eventually come clean. In the U.S., Oxiclean is to be found with the laundry items.

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Ask a specialist!
by: Carol

Hi Nick,

How wonderful to have such an heirloom!

I have asked a friend's advice on this one. She has worked in the conservators room at the V & A museum and suggests you find a museum or auction house with a textile department where you can take the piece. It could be possible that the enzymes from the wood, or glue holding it together, could be in the water stains. This is not a job for you to undertake yourself. They will also be able to test the fabric (and threads) to make sure what type it is.

When you come to re-frame it, it advisable to use an acid free backing rather than plywood. Also try to keep the glass off the actual embroidery by using spacers.

Sorry I couldn't give a quick answer to this one.

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