Embroidered clothes do not come cheap. Clothes with beautiful embroidery works are investments of your time, talent, and money. You did pay so much for these embellished ensembles. This is why you need to treat them with the utmost care.
Proper care and storage of your embroidered pieces will allow you to enjoy them for years. Unlike your usual wardrobe, embroidered clothes are often delicate and need special care.
Check these guidelines to help you maintain your embroidered clothes in tip-top shape.
- Check the Fibers and Color
- Hand Wash
- Do Not Use Bleach
- Avoid Scrub
- Hang Them or Lay Them Flat
If you have some vintage pieces, do not wash them as usual. Better to check if the threads or the stitches can withstand the regular washing process.
To check this, hold the fabric near your ear, and with light pressure, pinch the embroidery. When you hear a cracking sound, it means you cannot wash it as usual. You should bring such delicate embroidered clothes to dry cleaning professionals.
Another thing to check is the color. Some embroideries with vivid colors tend to bleed when washed. If you are not sure if the threads are colorfast. This happens often on new embroidered garments.
To check on whether the threads bleed or not, dip a wet swab on the thread. Wait for a few seconds to see if there is color transfer to the swab. If there is, then you should wash the garment on cold water until the color stops transferring to the water.
Whenever possible, hand wash clothes with designs, especially those with embroideries. This is to make sure that you can keep an eye on the stitches as you clean them. Machine wash is not favorable for embroidered garments as it can ruin the stitches.
If the clothes need a thorough washing, you need to soak it first. Make a solution of mild soap and water, then soak the clothes for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will loosen the dirt and make washing easy.
Wash your embroidered clothes on room-temperature water. Hang them dry on the clothesline. Tumble dry is not always good for embroidered garments since some threads tend to shrink.
There are times when stains are inevitable. If your embroidered ensemble has gotten a stain, do not use bleach. It is best to bring it to a dry cleaning professional. Bleach will ruin the color of the stitches or worse the entire garment.
Dry cleaning companies use special stain removal agents for colored and delicate fabrics.
Embroidered garments have embossed stitches so never scrub them. Scrubbing the embroidery works will damage the threads and worse the design. The harsh bristles of your scrub will scratch off the embroidery floss of the stitches.
This will result in stray threads and lint all over the garment. In case of tough dirt on the fabric, soak it first on water and soap solution before you hand wash it. But never scrub your embroidered garments.
After washing your clothes, netter if you can hang them on the clothesline. You may also let them dry them flat on a drying mesh. This will ensure that the fabric and the embroidery get to dry in perfect shape.
This also lessens the wrinkling of the fabric and the embroidery works.
Proper care and maintenance of your clothes, in general, is important to make sure they last for years.
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How Do You Protect Embroidery?
Embroidered clothes need the utmost care and handling so you can enjoy them for years. They are more sensitive than your usual wardrobes because of the embossed stitches.
You do not want to ruin or tarnish these beautiful embellishments. This is why you need to protect them from harsh detergents, bleach, scrubbing, and more.
The first thing you need to check is whether the embroidery is old or new. The old stitches may be brittle and cannot endure washing. For this, you need to bring it to a dry cleaning specialist.
If you choose to wash it yourself, you need to be extra careful.
- Vintage or Old embroidery
- First, you must dilute mild detergent with water. Use room-temperature water.
- Soak the garment for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Put the garment on its reverse side.
- Wash it by hand with gentle wiping movement of your palm over the garment. Avoid hitting the embroidered part of the garment. Once clean, remove it from the soap solution.
- Do not squeeze the garment. Hold it above the water and let the excess water drip out of it.
- Rinse the garment in cold or room-temperature water. Keep the garment on its reverse side. Give it a thorough rinse using the same wiping movement of your palm over the garment.
- Get the garment and hang it on the clothesline or lay it flat on a mesh dryer. Do not put it in a machine dryer.
- New Embroidery
For new clothes with embroideries, you also need proper care and storage.
- Before you throw it in the washer, check on the embroidery works first. This is to make sure that the embroidery stitches will not bleed its color out.
- You can check if the embroidery threads will transfer its color by dipping a wet swap over the stitches. If the color transfers then you have to hand wash the garment on cold water.
- You may follow the guidelines given early on for the vintage embroideries. Use a diluted soap solution and soak the clothes for a few minutes.
- Rinse the clothes until the color of the threads stopped transferring on the water. Then, hang it to dry. Do not squeeze the garment.
The safest way to protect the embroideries on your clothes is by hand washing or dry cleaning. Always hang dry your embroidered clothes. Do not squeeze water out or use a machine dryer as these will crumple or damage the embroidery stitches.
Tip: Avoid direct sun exposure of these embroidered clothes. Sunlight can fade the colors and weaken the fibers of the thread and fabric.
How Do You Finish Embroidery On Clothes?
Starting and finishing embroidery works are tricky because of the annoying knots. Well, this is what common embroidery enthusiasts do. They start and end the embroidery work by making knots on the thread.
Do you know that you can avoid making knots on your embroideries? Knots are not necessary in the first place. They can even do more harm to your design. Once any of these knots loosen, your embroideries will start to unravel.
This can ruin your embroidered design or worse, ruin the entire garment. You can begin and end your work in other ways, check the following tips.
With your last stitch, get your threaded needle to the back of the fabric.
- Insert the needle under the last few stitches.
- Then, clip the thread.
You may also weave through the last stitches for a more secure lock.
With your threaded needle on your last stitches. Go under the first stitch, over the second, then under the third stitch. Trim the end of the thread.
How Do You Seal The Back Of An Embroidery?
One common tool to seal the back of the embroidery is through embroidery hoops. These hoops are necessary for most needlework.
This technique is for hand embroidered projects. You need to gather all the materials you need.
- Embroidery hoops
- Backing Felt or fabric (wool or wool blend is best)
- Pair of scissors
- Needle and thread
- Fabric glue (If you want to glue the stitches at the back before covering)
- Get the backing material and place it on a flat surface. Get the inner hoop and use it as the template. Trace the hoop on the felt and cut out the traced felt or backing material.
- Set it aside for later use.
- Put your embroidered fabric on the hoops. Make sure that you secure it enough. Not too tight that stretches the stitches. Not too loose that the fabric or design sags.
- Cut around the extra fabric but leave at least 1/2 to 1 inch (1.27 to 2.54 cm.) of fabric. Make sure to plan for this before you buy your hoops. This is to ensure that you get the right size.
- Next is to thread your needle long enough to stitch around the hoop. You may use embroidery floss, regular sewing thread, or Perle cotton.
- Tie a knot in one end and sew around the edge of the extra fabric using running stitches. Your stitches must be around 1/4 inch (0.64 cm.) from the edge of the fabric.
- Once you reach the beginning of your stitches, draw the thread to pull the edges toward the center.
- Sew in one or two back stitches to secure the gathered fabric. Then, secure the stitches on the fabric by making a knot.
- Next is to get your cut felt or backing material. Put it on the back of the embroidery and sew around the edges.
- Insert the threaded needle through the gathered fabric. Start the stitch near the hoop. Put the needle down through the felt at an angle where you can catch the gathered fabric.
- Continue this sewing style all around the hoop. Once completed, secure the end with a knot. Try to hide the knot under the felt or backing material.
It’s done, your embroidery is all set.
How Do I Embroider My Back To Look Good?
To make sure that your embroidery will have a neat back, start your stitches with a temporary knot. This knot will serve as the lock so as not to pull the thread as you stitch.
The knots at the back of your embroidery are what makes it look like haywire. To lessen these annoying knots and bumps, here are two ways to make temporary knots.
- Away Knot
- Waste Knot
Both types begin with a knot at the end of the embroidery thread. An away knot is common to all embroidery stitches. Meanwhile, a waste knot is best for a stitch that you can cover the thread tail as you stitch. The satin stitch and cross stitch are examples of waste knots. These stitches cover the tail of the knots on the reverse side of the work.
- Away Knot
- Waste Knot
You begin your stitches 3 to 5 inches (7.62 to 12.7 cm.) away from the spot where your embroidery will start. Hence, the term “away” for this method. You clip the knot once you finish the embroidery work.
Using the tail of your thread, weave it into the stitches on the reverse side of your fabric. This is like how you end your stitches without making a knot.
If you are using expensive threads, this may not be a frugal option since you will be wasting a few inches of thread.
As you stitch, be careful not to hit or cross these weaved threads
You make a waste knot on the surface of the fabric. You draw out the tail of the thread on the reverse side of the fabric. As you stitch towards the knot, you will cover and lock the tail of the knot to secure it. Once you lock it, trim the knot away.
There is nothing wrong with having knots at the back of your embroidery. But if you want to have a neat finish, these temporary knots work wonders.
What Can I Use Instead Of Fabric Stabilizer?
Using fabric stabilizer is important for machine embroidery. It supports the fabric from wrinkling or puckering as the needle punches on it. The choice of your stabilizer is crucial as it has a significant effect on your project.
In case you do not have the standard fabric stabilizer, you may use any of the following:
- Plain Calico fabric
- Coffee filter
- Baking paper
- Wax paper
You may also use interfacing fabrics instead of a stabilizer such as:
- Cotton fabric
- Sweatshirt materials
How Do You Cover Embroidery For Itching?
You cover the itchy texture of your embroidery using a backing fabric. This fabric is thin, soft, and fusible. You can buy this backing material in most textile stores. You only have to make sure that you buy the color that is the same as the fabric you use for your embroidery.
It is easy to use. Once you have your backing fabric.
- Cut a piece that is a little bigger than your embroidery design. The soft side should be facing up and the rough side should be facing the stitches.
- Then, plug-in your steamer and set it to medium heat.
- Press the backing fabric that is on top of the embroidery. Make sure you press all the sides and edges of the backing material. This may take you 5 to 10 minutes.
- Check if the backing fabric has adhered to the embroidered fabric. If it does not peel off then it is good to go.
Embroidery makes great embellishment to clothes and anything made of fabric. These embellishments need extra care and handling to make sure they last for years. The simplest way to care for these garments is to wash them by hand using a mild detergent solution.
Keep in mind not to squeeze or wring your embroidered garments. You may opt to hang them dry or lay them flat on a mesh dryer. If you cannot avoid pressing your embroidered clothes, do it on the reverse side of the garment.
These embroidered may be a handful to care for, but it is all worth it. Besides, these embroidered clothes are not cheap, and so they deserve much care.