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Cleaning Needlepoints

NeedlepointHand washing is the preferred method of cleaning needlepoint. Before cleaning, take into account the item's age and condition, soiling, and colorfastness. Examine the item for weak or damaged areas. You can protect these areas during cleaning by backing them with a piece of white, unbleached muslin or nylon netting. Use as few stitches as possible.

Test all colored yarns for colorfastness by wetting a cotton swab with drycleaning solvent or a water and detergent solution and gently dabbing the colored yarn. If any color transfers onto the end of the swab, drycleaning or washing procedures should not be used. It is important to test all colors on the piece using this procedure.

Many backings may also contain sizings that may be removed in cleaning. To test, wet a corner of the mesh with water or drycleaning solvent. If the area becomes tacky or gummy, the item should not be cleaned using an immersion process.

If testing indicates that the item can be safely cleaned, cover the textile with a piece of fiberglass-coated window screen. Do not use metal, as it may rust and create additional staining. Using a very low-powered, hand-held vacuum cleaner, vacuum over the surface to remove any surface soil. Do not use this procedure on fragile items.

If cleanability testing and examination indicates that drycleaning is acceptable, clean the item in a net bag on a three-to-five-minute cycle and dry on a low-drying temperature (120°F). If testing indicates that the item can be safely wetcleaned, place the item in a plastic bucket or sink. Again, metal is not recommended. Do not scrub or squeeze the item. Every few minutes, gently push the item under the surface of the water. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain the wash water and rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. After rinsing, roll the item in a towel and gently squeeze the moisture with your hands. Always lay flat to dry, as hanging may cause the item to tear or warp.
After cleaning, a pinboard may be necessary to block the item back to its original size. For items that have been wetcleaned, allow the item to dry on the pinboard. You may iron the textile while it is on the pinboard using a steam iron that is set on a cool setting.
Posted By Harry Kimmel | 10/4/2016 10:39:07 AM