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!


4 comments:

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 :)