Red Embroidery Thread Bled on Cross-stitch Project?


I rinsed a completed cross-stitch project in cold water and a tiny amount of Woolite. The red thread bled and a light pink stain surrounds all of the red stitching. Does anyone know how to remove the light pink stains. Thanks.


By Fran from Rainbow City, AL

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March 1, 20102 found this helpful

I am 69 years old, and have never had any color of embroidery thread bleed onto the background fabric or onto nearby colors of thread. I never used cold water to wash anything embroidered. When I was young I did numerous pairs of pillow cases, and sets of dish towels, and they always got washed with what ever range of colors the background was. White items got washed in hot water, no matter what. T

his is the way my Mother did it, she always had the old type wringer washer and no dryer, as long as I was at home. There was always some bleach added to the water for the white load, and it never noticeably faded the colored embroidery thread.


As each load of clothes was taken out of the wringer washer a little more water would have to be added so that for the other colors of laundry the colors weren't affected by the bleach in the first load. If you are referring to cross stitch, those stitches are so close together I don't know if you can do anything.

Otherwise I would say take a cotton swab, and dip it in bleach, then kind of dab it on the areas where the red bled, just being careful no to touch any colored area. Then carefully rinse the fabric again. I don't know if this will work or not.

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August 24, 20180 found this helpful

I also have used a Q-Tip dipped in bleach. I used it to blot the areas where the color ran. And to protect the other cross-stitched areas (so that the bleach wouldn't affect them), I held a wet sponge there.

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January 11, 20200 found this helpful

Omg, this just happened to me! Red thread bled onto crossstitch piece. How frustrating! Glad for the suggestion of Qtip with bleach. Tried oxy on Qtip and it faded to orange!


I washed in sink again and towel dried then ironed to dry completely and it reduced the red bleed by about half.

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, If the cotton bud with bleach doesn't work the way you want. I'd have a look in the laundry section at your supermarket & see if you can buy a rinse that's purely for when dyes run. I don't know what it's called over in the U.S. but it is available. Good luck. Wendy

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

I use a product called Color Catcher made by Shout company in the washing machine. Try resoaking and adding the cloth (it catches the extra dye). By the way...was that DMC floss?


That's all I have ever used and I've never had that happen. You could also contact the manufacturer of the floss.

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June 30, 20181 found this helpful

The COLOR CATCHER also worked well for me. The thread was from a kit and the red bled on white fabric.

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June 25, 20201 found this helpful

I finished a counted cross stitch sampler that I started 37 years ago for my son. Now Im giving it to my grandson. It had a couple of dirty spots and was a little yellow. After watching a video about how to clean a counted cross stitch sampler, I tested some different colors of my floss by soaking in soapy water. The water came out with no color bleed. I took the risk and soaked my sampler as the video said.


Five minutes later, I noticed the water was pink!!! The red floss had bled all over my piece! The more I rinsed it the worse it got! After crying for an hour and trying white vinegar, alcohol and acetone, I tried Carbona color run remover. I mixed up a little in a cup and applied it with a Q-tip where it bled. It worked! It did take a little color out of the pink floss. But, I can live with that.

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December 26, 20200 found this helpful

I'm going to try this. Like you, it was 37 years ago, and it is the Christmas stocking I made for my son. It was fine all these years, but this year my daughter-in-law got it out to hang on the mantle, and all places there was red embroidery floss, there is extensive pink shadow staining.


On white Aida. I've been soaking it, used Woolite, cold water...I pray the Carbona works, but this is the day after Christmas...and Covid...and not making any trips out unless absolutely Ugh. But THANK YOU for posting your experience!

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November 13, 20200 found this helpful

My 32 yr. old sampler bled too when I washed it. Some ones good advise was to put a damp sponge under it and use bleach and a q-tip. I used 50/50 water and bleach with a small stiff artists brush. worked well.Rinsed, rolled in towel and spun dry. Stopped the bleeding. Keep working the solution till color fades. Stay as far away from red threads as possible.

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