It's scary, but it has to be done
So here is my finished project with hoop lines and general griminess !
I don’t even know what that stain is! Probably definitely not wine ;)
The best way to wash a piece is by hand, separately in lukewarm water. I use a mild dish soap such as Dawn
Small amount of soap in a clean sink with lukewarm water, you don’t want it too soapy
Do NOT use harsh detergents or biological powders and definitely nothing containing bleach as these could remove the colour from threads which would be disastrous.
Soak the piece and swish around in the water, gently rubbing any obvious marks
If you have any stubborn stains you can rub very gently with a soft toothbrush and allow to soak for 10 minutes
Once you are happy, run the piece under the tap to rinse out all the soap but watch the temperature. It is important to get all the soap out of the piece.
When you are happy that all the soap is out, squeeze the water out of the piece. NEVER wring the fabric as this could distort the stitching and material.
Roll your piece in a towel to remove excess water
Press down on piece so the towel can absorb excess water
Lay your piece out flat and leave to dry on a towel
It is best to iron your project while it is still slightly damp.
Place the stitching on an ironing board and place a clean towel over it.
Heat the iron on the low heat setting (such as for silk). I normally keep any steam setting off but it won’t harm it to be on
Keep the iron moving and do not leave it in one area too long - you may need to go over it a few times.
Finished, clean and ready to frame!
Note the blue tiny areas around the jawline that looks like the color has run is actually the ends of threads showing through before they have been trimmed.
It isn’t that scary really and a washed and ironed piece will look a lot better in the frame to show it off and the piece should age better.