Do you know how to wash cross stitch projects so they look fantastic before framing? No matter how careful you are when you are completing a cross stitch project, you may end up marking it up. Even if there are no visible stains the item may look drab because of the many hours spent handling it. Finger smudges, oil from your skin, and small marks that you don’t even notice at the time can all stain the cross stitch. If you have a piece of heirloom cross stitch that you want to bring back to its original glory you can safely wash it and make it look new again if you know how to wash cross stitch projects.  Here are some tips that will help you wash your cross stitch projects and heirlooms without ruining the delicate needlework:

Always hand-wash cross stitch: Washing machines are much too rough for delicate cross stitch. Even large stitched items like pillowcases and table cloths need to be hand-washed. A washing machine agitator would destroy fine needlework. Instead of using the washing machine, soak the needlework in cold water and a little natural detergent. Swirl it around in the water gently. Then put the needlework into several different rinse baths of cold water to rinse it clean.

Always use a natural detergent: Most laundry soaps are much too strong for delicate cross stitch, especially heirloom quality cross stitch projects. Many soaps also have bleach in them that could damage the embroidery thread or make the colors fade. Always use a very gentle all-natural detergent like Rockin' Green in small amounts to clean your cross stitch. Adding a little vinegar to the water is a great way to brighten colors and protect the threads.

Never put cross stitch in the dryer: The best way to dry cross stitch crafts is to lay the fabric between two clean towels and gently press the water out of the cross stitch. Never wring or tug on the actual cross stitch. Once you have pressed all the water out of the fabric, you can lay it gently on a drying rack or hang it on a wash line. Never fold a wet piece of cross stitch because if you do, you might end up with a permanent crease in the fabric. After the piece is dry you can iron it with a cool iron to smooth it out perfectly. Store cross stitch in a temperature controlled area away from direct sunlight.