Thursday, May 10, 2012

keeping your colors

You know what season is upon us now, don't you? Garage sale season! What treasures will be found this year - one can only imagine. So, I'm here today with a small tip that many of you will probably already know but here it is anyway. If you are a garage saler/estate saler you have most likely stumbled upon an embroidery stash like this one:
You know, it's full of floss, some hoops maybe some patterns and fabric or even a half finished project and it's priced at, like $1. You might start to swoon over all those yummy colors but then hesitate because you are uncertain if the old floss is dye-fast. Here is the good news:  you don't have to pass it up.
So, how do you know if it's dye-fast? Well, I took the paper off mine, laid it on some white cotton fabric, folded the fabric with the floss inside and ran it under water. I gave it some squeezes and let it be for a few minutes and then unfolded it. 
You can see that this beautiful blue turned out to be just fine because no dye was on the white fabric. So, I let it dry and now I can feel confident using it. This lilac skein though.... definitely not dye-fast.
But now I know that this problem is easily solved with the help of everybody's best friend - white vinegar. 
Yep, mix up a solution that is half vinegar and half water and just let your floss sit in it for a few hours. You'll see the solution take on that beautiful color too. Then take it out, give it a good rinsing and lay it flat to dry. I found the color was not quite as intense afterward but it was still lovely and will now be added to my flossbox. Easy peasy!


Miss Holly said...

Such great advice!!! Thank you so much!!!

Wendy said...

That's a good tip, though you know I've never tested any of my embroidery threads... I'd better remember this before I embroider anything that will be washed!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I always look for metal emrboidery hoops at garage sales. I absolutely love them and I really can't stand the wooden ones. I recently have come across a couple of tiny metal ones, which I never saw before, and I LOVE the tiny size. They have become my favorite.

You live in a wonderful older city where you could probably find metal ones. They're hard to find here (garage sales here are almost a complete wash, unless you want to pay higher than retail for things; most of this city was built in the last 20 years, so old things are hard to find). Since you're not a hoop fan, it probably doesn't matter to you, but if I ever get to go garage saling somewhere else, I will be looking for metal hoops.

Corinne said...

Yes! Those metal hoops - if you can find them - come in really fun sizes. I have a small collection myself but they can be elusive. I'll be keeping an eye out when my neighborhood has their community garage sales in a couple of weeks. If I find anything good I'll be sharing it here :)