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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  11:02:43 AM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
I know that this is not knitting related, but since so many people do other types of needlework I thought that maybe someone would be able to help. Years ago my grandmother embroidered a set of pillowcases to be given to each of her grandchildren when they grew up. My mom recently gave me my set, but they have yellowed a bit and smell musty. I assume that handwashing is best for needlework, but does anyone know what would get the yellowing out? I do not know if the threads are colorfast, so I am also concerned with bleeding. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Christy

ajar
Chatty Knitter

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  11:50:23 AM  Show Profile Send ajar a Private Message
Definitely hand wash with a mild detergent (Ivory, etc.) Start with cool water to see if it bleeds. Try washing it with mild soap first to see if the yellowing will lighten. You might be able to whiten it with a non-chlorine bleach, but be careful - many treatments for getting yellowing out are quite abrasive. As for bleeding, there is a product similar to fabric softener sheets sold in grocery stores that collects dye in the water bath. I have never used them for hand washing, but they work great in the washer.

One other option is to have it dry-cleaned, but only if you have a very trusted dry cleaner.


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Mom2aej
Warming Up

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  12:07:16 PM  Show Profile Send Mom2aej a Private Message
Oxiclean really does wonders on things that I thought I could never get out. (With 3 three year olds they can make quite a mess). Its very gental. (I've used it on a few of my "delicates") with warm water. You can try a test corner and see if it may work for this. I agree stick it in cold water first to see if it runs. I think the color may be able to be colorfasted if washed with vinager.

Mom2aej





Just when you get a handle on life... It changes.
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liebekatja
Chatty Knitter

USA
262 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  12:39:07 PM  Show Profile Send liebekatja a Private Message
Chrys,

If the yellowing is only on the pillowcases and not on the needlepoint itself, you could also (very carefully) cut the needlework from the original pillowcases and sew it onto new pillowcases. My mother has done this with pillowcases her grandmother embroidered, and the embroideries are now on their 3rd or 4th pillowcases. Just a thought-- good luck taking care of your grandmother's precious needlework.

Katie

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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  1:30:11 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
I recently tried Oxiclean for the first time and I feel like a walking advertisement for it. I have had great luck on whites--ages-old, washed in stains, colored linen, even a pair of dry-clean only capris with a stubborn spot that dry-cleaning couldn't lift came through the cold-water oxiclean treatment pristine. The only problem I've had was with a batik rayon sarong. The stain came out but it discolored the blue. No big deal as it was $9 street-corner purchase. I'm with Mom2aej--test a corner and give it a whirl. Great stuff.

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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  2:20:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
I'm an Oxiclean fan too (also love their Orange Clean products, they work and smell fabulous). But I also recall this tip from some dusty reaches of my brain - the sun often will bleach out yellowing in fabrics. I'd say wash them in something very mild (after testing colorfastness) and do the amazingly old fashioned thing of hanging them out to dry on a bright, sunny day, and see what happens - you can always move up to a stronger weapon later.

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digknit
New Pal

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  2:40:28 PM  Show Profile Send digknit a Private Message
Do you use the Oxiclean directly on the stains (mixed up into a paste with water?), or do you just add it in the laundry? I bought some to try and do something about all my dingy white clothes, but haven't been too sure how to proceed.

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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  3:51:27 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
Digknit, I'd be a bit afraid of doing a paste. Based on packaging instructions I've done two things. One is just to soak for an hour or more in Oxiclean and water. For example, my sister's dog walked all over my lap afer playing under the wild cherry tree in the yard! Spanking clean...just stained. I dissolved a couple of scoops of Oxiclean in warm water, added it to cold water (pants were linen) and left them to soak. Remembered to check about an hour or so later. Stains gone and colors intact. Did the same thing with a friend's favorite T-shirt with the exact result.

For some outdoor furniture coverings, I used the Oxiclean as a laundry boost along with regular detergent. Also what I did with the supposedly "dry clean only" pants. Even as a boost, though, I dissolved it first. I've just been following their instructions as best I can and it's worked so far. I've finally become brave enough to put some badly stained antique linens in the bathtub with Oxiclean so will report back on that experiment. Cross your fingers.

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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  6:11:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
I have become a convert to Oxyclean in the last year as well. I had just bought some on a whim when my daughter fell and hit her head. Well, needless to say my white dry clean only embroidered blouse was not white anymore. I just knew it was ruined, I figured that if I let the blood soak in long enough to get it to the dry cleaners it would never come out so I disolved the Oxyclean in the sink with warm water and dropped the blouse in. After cleaning Meagan up and dealing with her hysteria I remembered the blouse. I lifted it up out of the sink and VOILA! It was WHITE! I put it in a mesh bag and rinsed it on the gentle cycle to get everything out, hung it to dry and ironed it. It looked great! Oxyclean even managed to remove some stubborn stains the dry cleaners had only managed to fade but not remove! It also got rid of stains around the back of the neck... the blouse looked like new!

Now, old flosses were not always colorfast... be very careful when you wash your pillow cases, but do wash them! The longer they stay in that condition the worse they will get. Not to mention that you will not get the pleasure of using them. Go for it, but carefully!



Alissa
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2002 :  7:15:55 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
While it is true that some old embroidery threads are not colorfast, most of them are. After all DMC has been around for a long time. I have many old embroidered things which were done prior to 1940 and all of them are colorfast. The suggestions for cleaning them are good and after they are clean dry them only until they are damp and then iron them. Iron the embroidery upside down over a folded towel or something that gives a soft surface so that the embroidery is not pressed into the fabric but stands above it. If you are storing them, refold every couple of months to avoid the yellowing around the fold lines and don't store them in plastic but in cotton bags.

Fran

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susanne
New Pal

39 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2002 :  05:38:10 AM  Show Profile Send susanne a Private Message
I have to agree that most embroidery flosses have been colorfast for the past 100 years- I collect old needlework books and magazines and all the major brands promote themselves as boil-fast- though I don't suppose you'll be boiling your pillowcases! The washing advice given is top-notch- how about hanging them in the sun for awhile, after washing- my favorite treatment for yellowed cotton and linen. (sunlight yellows woolens)

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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2002 :  06:55:42 AM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
Thanks everyone for all of the tips, I knew I could get some help here . This afternoon I will try washing it with some Ivory. I do not own any Oxiclean, although from what everyone is saying here I may have to buy some just for stains and such. If the Ivory and hanging it outside does not work I will try the Oxiclean soak this weekend.
I will let you all know how they come out
Thanks again
Christy

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Emaruottolo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
472 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2002 :  07:19:35 AM  Show Profile Send Emaruottolo a Private Message
When I read all the replies I started laughing. I read your original post and quickly typed a reply suggesting using Oxyclean. HOwever, I never posted because I thought what if it ruins it. I am so glad to see so many Oxyclean lovers. I think it is great and has taken out numerous stains from my carpet where nothing else ever worked. I hope your pillow cases come out lovely. I would think that they must be washable and colorfast, because if you use them you would wash them. What is the point of having beauty if it must stay packed away. Just my .
Elisa (here in the oppresive northeast, with no relief in sight (thank God for air conditioning)).

"Happiness is not the destination, but the road traveled."
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Smock7
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
491 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2002 :  09:13:30 AM  Show Profile Send Smock7 a Private Message
I read where many thought DMC colors were colorfast. I remember when I was into cross stitching about 15 or 20 years ago, the red dye on DMC floss had chemicals that were harmful to the environment or some strange thing, so they changed the dye formula and the reds bled! It was this way for about 5 years or so until they came up with a new formula. So, beware with older linens that have reds!

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maya
Warming Up

93 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2002 :  10:06:50 AM  Show Profile Send maya a Private Message
I used to collect antique clothes and have use the method of washing the item in cool water, mild detergent and drying in the sun. You might want to dry the item with the embroidery side down to preserve those colors as much as possible.
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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  07:25:01 AM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
Well, I tried the Oxyclean soak yesterday. They are still not perfect, but the yellowing has faded a great deal. They are usable now And next time they need washing I will try sun-drying to see if they can improve even more (this time it was dark out when I was done). And there is a nice side bonus to using my kitchen sink for the soak, it now gleams so bright even the flylady would pause to look
Thanks for all the help
Christy


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