Category Archives: Needlework

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The difference between counted and stamped cross stitch

When you are out searching for kits to resale at yard sales or thrift stores there are two types that might just say “cross stitch”. They are stamped and counted. Counted is more common today. Both make x shaped stitches on the fabric. To make the stitches in both counted and stamped you have two opposing diagonal stitches to form an X. Step One of a single stitch: /. Step 2 of the same stitch: \. End result: X. Always make sure that your bottom / is always going the same direction. Then your top \ will go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t matter which way you start but just make sure that each stitch has all the bottom threads laying one way and the top threads lay the other way.

This is a huge hint in buying completed Cross Stitch whether it be stamped or counted. If all the top threads are laying in one direction not including half stitches and quarter stitches that you see in faces and hands then this is possibly a consideration to buy but if you see the top stitches going in every direction walk away and don’t buy.

Stamped cross stitch kits have the pattern printed onto the fabric. You stitch with embroidery thread the colors shown on a chart. Counted cross-stitch has the pattern printed on a separate sheet of paper. You will have a blank piece of fabric in front of you. This means that you have to count the squares yourself to see where each stitch goes. This the term counted. Many stitcher’s start stitching in the center of the pattern to make sure there’s equal room on both sides to frame the design. I like to have three inches on each side and tip and bottom and I always start at the top and never the center so that all my new stitches come up in an empty hole and go down in a hole with stitching in it. It makes for a more even stitch in my opinion.

Stamped cross stitch is easier and easier and in my opinion (my opinion only) not as easy to make look consistent with stitching. It is also more popular for beginners. You can start anywhere you want because you don’t have to count squares. Stamped cross stitch does not have as much detail as counted cross stitch. Squares have to be bigger for the x’s to be visible on the printed fabric so you don’t get as many half or 1/4 stitches or color variations usually. Counted cross stitch kits come in many higher count fabrics (more stitches per square inch) so you can work small details and use more colors. Counted cross stitch has become more popular due to many reasons. 1. Overall appearance with consistency of stitches 2. More patterns and kits are made in counted.

A finished counted cross stitch project can have enough detail to look like a painting and they can be framed to be a focal point in a home or office. Stamped cross stitch are usually seen tablecloth and tablecloth borders, pillow cases, and place mats.

Stamped cross stitch is usually done on a tight fabric such as broadcloth or muslin. Counted cross stitch can be done on a fabric called aida (little squares), linen or other specialty type fabrics with different names. Aida cloth comes in several different counts, or stitches per inch. For example, 11-count aida cloth will measure eleven stitches to each inch. Other common counts are 14 and 18 – the higher the number, the finer the weave.

Most people start of with stamped cross stitch and then move up to counted patterns as they get more experience. I started out on counted cross stitch when I was in college and never did stamped Cross Stitch because I never liked embroidery as a child and it reminded me too much of embroidery. If you are listing kits on eBay stamped Cross Stitch will go under hand embroidery kits and counted cross stitch will go under Cross stitch.

I will add photos tomorrow.


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What is a Counted Cross Stitch sampler?

In my Facebook group “Cindy’s online selling tips” (CO$T) I get it asked quite often “what is a Cross Stitch sampler and how do you define one or recognize one?”

Many believe that the samplers were made in the home when in reality they were made in schools.
Samplers are often inscribed with the name of their maker the date and many times the age of the child. Many times you will also see the school in which they were embroidered.
Many believe that these embroideries were the only exposure to formal education received by young women in the early 1700s in America.
The format of the sampler was entirely up to the teacher. She developed a pattern for these creations and then supervised the stitchers.
As education for girls in America became more widespread samplers increased in popularity.
Teachers were inclined to pick recognizable motifs and regional patterns began to emerge.

Samplers are oblong pieces of linen embellished with patterns of embroidery stitches or crosses worked in silk threads.
Samplers were first brought from England and northern Europe where they had been a form of schoolgirl Art for centuries.

Many scholars believe that the first samplers were made by young women during the middle ages as a way of recording patterns for future reference.
Through the years the definition of a sampler changed from that of a learning exercise and embroidery technique signed and dated to the finished work intended for framing and display.
Many samplers made today are not signed or dated but they are still considered samplers.
English samplers from the 16th and 17th centuries were long and narrow and always worked on linen that was cut in a thin strip across the width of the woven fabric from selvage to selvage.
The earliest settlers brought this technique with them to the new land.
Most colonial samplers that you will find will have the alphabet, numbers, the stitchers name and date and like I said before sometimes the school.
I had the opportunity a number of years ago to view a sampler stitched by my husband’s great great great great grandmother. His aunt was the owner of it at the time and it now has been passed down to her granddaughter in Texas. Someday I would love to be able to look at it and copy it and make one of my own and maybe even publish the pattern.
If you look in my eBay store at Bubbacandance.com you will find a number of samplers in our store category.
Many times samplers will have a poem or a saying along with motifs and not necessarily the alphabet or numbers but they are usually Long and narrow or just long and rectangular.

I will post a few photos below to show you ideas of different samplers.
You can see the family tree which was done and in many ways it still considered a sampler because it has names and dates.

IMG_2387IMG_2386IMG_2385IMG_2384IMG_2383

 

 

 

 

 

Counted cross stitch has the design either on a piece of paper and you count to the fabric or you do it freehand like these young girls did in schools where their teacher taught them how to design. She may have written it on a form of board or designed herself one on linen and then they copied it.

I will continue this series about needlework in the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy


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Needlework Supplies on eBay & Pinterest

Today I sell on eBay mostly because I can get worldwide sales.  I also have a few things on etsy but the traffic is just not there. 

You can find me on eBay at www.bubbacandance.com

I can also be found on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/stitcheryxpress/

We carry a full line of counted cross stitch items from current to long out of print patterns and kits.  We also carry linens, aidas and other specialty fabric items.  We have a warehouse full of four closed needlework stores.  We carry hand dyed threads, Needles from John James and very unique stitching accessories including unique scissors.   

We are also the the automatic mailings from designers such as Mirabilia, Lizzie Kate, Needle’s Notions, Ink Circles, Barbara Ana. etc.   

Join us at Stitchery X-Press on eBay 


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Buying Completed Needlework for Resale

I get asked by many sellers about buying completed and stitched and sometimes framed needlework that is already stitched for resale.  There are a few factors to take in mind when purchasing.  

1.The quality of the work.  If you are buying counted cross stitch you want the stitches to go all in one direction on the top stitch and the bottom should go in the opposite direction.   There might be half and quarter stitches that will be different directions due to the detail.  But all full stitches should lay in one direction.   You also don’t want to see holes. This means the stitching is too tight.  On crewel work (yarn embroidery) you want to make sure the stitching is nice and tight but not Puckered and that the yarn covers the line work underneath (the stitching lines). For needlepoint, you want to make sure that you see even cover and not big holes. 

2. The theme.  Theme is very important on any piece of needlework.   I recently sold two pieces of artwork that I knew would have a very limited buyer market and was shocked when they sold in Ten minutes. I thought I would be sitting on them for months.  What were they?   Completed and Framed Guns… They both went to Australia to the same buyer for over $125.o0.   If you think something is ugly.. others may think it is awesome.  If you think something is just gorgeous others may find it awful… so keep that is mind.. if the theme and workmanship are good… think about it.   Great themes are: samplers, animals, scenes, children, etc. 

3. Price. I usually don’t buy items that cost more then $5.00 unless they are going to make me at least $50.00!  Why.. I have to ship the framed picture and that is a pain.  I have to have a box to fit and prepare the glass to not break… lots of time considerations here.   

4. You have to have excellent photos of the finished item and the closeup of the stitching.  People want to see the workmanship.. 

5. The Technique –  I have found counted cross stitch does much better than most of my stamped or crewel embroidery.  I also do much better with items stitched on linen over aida. (you will see the little squares on aida).  Needlepoint, if stitched correctly can do incredible and if a pillow or picture that is geometric or dogs and cats will do really well and can bring in hundreds.   

6. How you market it.   You have to know the technique before you start so get to know what needlepoint is to cross stitch etc.  Make sure you have size in your title and also if you know the designer and title.  

7. I seem to get better money on eBay over Etsy on completed cross stitch and needlework which many find hard to believe. I think it is because of the international audience.  

8. Pricing Make sure you are not throwing money away. Just because you purchased something for a few dollars does not mean you have to sell it to make a few dollars profit.  Research completed and sold needlework on eBay 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Needle-Arts-Crafts-/160659/i.html?_sop=16&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1

Good Luck and if you have any questions please feel free to post here and I will help. 

Let Research become your best friend.   


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Recap of my Week in New England and Thrifting Finds

I was able to spend seven full days in New Hampshire with Robbin Levin and we had such a marvelous time.  I flew into Logan in Boston and had a delightful dinner with Linda Bryant and her friend Paula and Robbin at the Salty Dog in Boston.  (Parking was $35.00 ouch).  

Tuesday Robbin and I drove in a snow storm to visit with our friend Sunita and Kristine. Sunita sells a ton of yarn on eBay and esty and it was fun to see her place.  On the way back from her house we decided to thrift but apparently NH has other ideas and closed the stores due to the storm… We were die hards and got a couple in but others did not understand how we wanted to shop. 

Wednesday we met up with local eBay and Amazon sellers to take them thrifting and show them the ropes on what we look for.  We met at Goodwill and spent 3 hours.. yes three hours.. We went through every part of the store.  The look on Jim’s face when I said buy this cup you will get 24.99 for it… It sold six days after he listed it.. Always look for flower mugs with Marjolein Bastin.  Good investment.  We found some fun finds. There was not a lot of needlework.. I am not sure that New Englanders do it anymore.   We then moved to Savers for two hours and had to leave for the Meet Up where I was the speaker.   We found some fun items such as Tattoo Thigh high tights that will not make a bunch of money but hey 7.00 in my pocket with a multiple variation listing… I think I bought 25 packages ($7.00 profit x 25) I am on it.  Look for vintage Pantyhose and Large cup bras.. they sell and are consistent sellers.  

The Meet up was a blast as we talked customer service and about the eBay of 2014 not being the eBay of 2013.  Changes are not fun but I will tell you every one of the changes that eBay has made has been helpful and has increased my business.  

Thursday morning we drove to Massachusetts and made a stop on the way at Alpha Cars to see Dmitri and Olga who sell Ural Sidecar Motorcycles.  My husband Jim not only dreams of one but covets it every minute.. with eBay sales staying steady I hope to have him one by the end of summer.   We then drove to meet up with one of our favorite CO$T (Cindy’s Online Selling Tips) members, Ron.  Ron showed us his eBay and Amazon business and shared with us his lovely antique home he shares with Phillip and their three incredible children.  We went to Savers where we met up with another favorite, Raymond Smith, who drove from New Jersey to spend time with us.    Ron had a cart full of stuff. Big hint is to look for odd shaped Christmas Plates and Platters.. Good money.  Raymond found a really cool mold that he paid under $5.00 for and will make at least $70.00 on. I will post some photos later.  

We went to Connecticut for the Meet Up in Avon and had a full house.  I spiced up the talk but had the same type of talk to the sellers.  It was really well received.  We were also able to have a great cake to celebrate Maida’s birthday. It was great to meet so many CO$T members who drove so far to come here me speak. 

Friday morning found us thrifting with a large number of the attendees from the Meet Up.  Some marvelous finds for everyone. I was tickled to find some Pendleton Scarves in Tartans but they are not going to be sold.  They will go to my sons.  We went to two stores, a Goodwill and a Savers.  I love to eat and drink locally so they suggested George’s and it was incredible. Thanks Kim and Jason for buying my dinner.   

We drove back to New Hampshire after dinner and stopped at a couple of stores where Robbin and I scored a few good finds.   

Saturday we spent at a gymnastics meet for Robbin’s son where he took second overall and the team first place. That was fun. We stopped and hit the goldmine in Goodwill. My $30.00 purchases will bring in over $400.  Saturday evening we met up with Jeremy for Lobster. That was the best… we were able to watch #Thrifthunters on the TV at Petey’s.   A great time on the beach.  

Sunday we had a marvelous time thrifting time with Jeremy and Robbin.. we all scored and Robbin his the Cross Stitch Gold Mine.  (we stayed up til 3:30 Listing some of her finds and he cha ching went off early the next morning from a sale).  Dinner at the Old Salt was a wonderful last meal with great friends in New Hampshire as I had to get ready to leave the next afternoon. 

After packing and catching up and spending the morning going over some eBay tips and hints Robbin and I headed to Boston. Just past Seabrook the car engine seized up and stopped.  Cassi, a friend of Robbins came to the rescue and brought her car for us to take to the airport and she stayed with the broken down car and waited for the tow truck.  I made it to Boston on time and was through security in seconds as I was picked for the new TSA quick screen.. no shoe removal, no jacket removal, no computer removal etc.  After an uneventful flight on an exit row, Thank you Delta. I arrived home late Monday and had to fix some shipping problems that Jim and Steven encountered while I was gone.  

It was a marvelous trip and I met some amazing people   Thank you… I will post some of my finds on the next blog to you.  

 


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The purpose of this blog….

I would like everyone who reads this blog to know that I don’t charge, make a cent of money and that this blog is for informational purposes only.  I share the knowledge I have gained from being in the Needlework business off and on for 33 years and by being an eBay, Etsy and Amazon seller for a long time.  That being said.  I get NO profit from this blog.  This is where you get to know me and where I can offer help to you, an online seller, to better your business practices and become a better seller.   My advice this week… Align yourself with those that you want to be like.   Are you going to follow and get help from someone that shows no measurement?  There are a lot of Mentors, Coaches, Experts who sell a few items a month but charge monthly fees to join their “support” group.  Most, if not all of theses “gurus” sell a few items a month and travel the world on YOUR money that you gave them.   Most are not current with the new changes on the platforms and are giving bad advice.   Follow Best Practices and you will succeed.   I will follow up more on Best Practices next week.   Facebook and other forums are rich with “FREE” information.   Find the best groups to join. Don’t get caught up in the drama and the negativity.  If you see it, leave those groups and find others.   There are lots of them out there.   Today was a really trying day for me as I had an issue to deal with from one of the rudest and most whacked persons I have ever encountered in 33 years in the needlework business and let’s just say the other half of me you never see came out…..  I realized that she took too much of my time and that I need to align myself with those that are positive.  I am changing gears in 2014 with building my business more, leaving Facebook groups that do not benefit me. (I will be staying in Thrifting with the Boys, Shipping with the Boys, Cindy’s Online Selling Tips CO$T (I better huh?) Scanpower though I have pretty much left Amazon but I like Chris Green.   So think Positive and don’t let the jerks of the world get you down… Don’t spend time thinking about them and their obvious problems in life.  


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Cleaning & Washing Needlework and removing Stains from Fabrics

Cleaning Needlework including washing Cross Stitch 

The method you use to clean needlework depends on the type of dirt or stain to be removed, and on the fabrics and threads used.

Before you clean any type of needlework, be sure that it really does need cleaning. If you were careful when you stitched, it might be fine as it is.

CAUTION: Needlepoint should NOT be washed in soap and water. Much of this page is for cross stitch, not needlepoint. If you have a needlepoint that needs to be cleaned, commercial dry cleaning may be your best choice. Needlepoint canvas has a water soluble sizing that gives it body; washing in soap and water will remove the sizing. A needlework store in your area can probably recommend a good dry cleaner to take your piece to. I would suggest asking the dry cleaner to clean the piece, but not press it. The needlepoint will come back wrinkled, but this will come out when the piece is finished. Again, be sure you really need to have it cleaned.

Cross stitch can usually be hand washed in soap and water.  I highly recommend Dawn dish washing soap and it has to be Dawn, not an off brand.  Others recommend Orvus, a Procter and gamble product.  I find the dawn works well for me so I have not needed Orvus. 

Before you use water to clean your cross stitch, make sure that 100% of the materials you used are water safe. The fabric and cotton floss are probably fine, although bright red floss can sometimes bleed (see below). Be sure to check things like embellishments, unusual threads, and so on.

Color bleeding when washing. Color ‘bleeding’ or ‘running’ is when the dye moves off of where it should be, and attaches itself onto another area. It is usually red dye bleeding onto light colored fabric. Fortunately, it does not happen often, but you have to watch for it. The cause is usually excess dye that was not completely washed out of the threads in the dying process. This is why it is recommended that you prewash red threads before you stitch, but in practice very few people do this. What you do want to do is watch carefully for any signs of bleeding when you are hand washing. If you see any signs of bleeding, stop washing, and start rinsing under running cold water right away. Rinse for several minutes and then let it soak in cold water while you decide how to proceed. Do not let the stain dry.

Before you do anything, make sure that what you see is really color bleeding. Often it is not bleeding, it is just the thread on the back of the fabric. When the fabric is wet, it becomes more transparent and any loose threads on the back can make it look like the colors have run.

The longer a stain remains, the harder it is to remove; so if you do have colors bleeding, it is better to decide how you want to proceed soon. Still, take a few minutes to think about what you want to do. You have two choices. First, is there any way to cover the area that the the red dye bled into? This sounds funny, but give it some thought. Maybe it was a red flower that ran; maybe all you need to do is stitch some more leaves and cover it up. Maybe add a charm or embellishment. If you can do it, covering up the stain is the best choice. If this isn’t an option, you need to try washing the red out. Usually this requires some pretty aggressive scrubbing and you need to balance removing the stain with damaging the fabric.

How to wash cross stitch

 Use only cold water for the wash and rinse. Tap water is fine unless you have very hard water, then you will want to use distilled water. Make sure the sink and any containers you will use are clean.

 Pre-rinse the piece under cold, running water.

 Place in a soapy cold water and gently wash. I only use DAWN Dishwashing Soap. Nothing else. Do not scrub.  Avoid soaps that have additives such as fragrances, softeners, etc. Use only a small amount of detergent.

 If needed, rinse and wash a second time. DO NOT WRING the water out; this is not necessary and can pull the stitches.

 Rinse three times in cold water.

 As you work, check carefully for any sign of color bleeding, ‘hoop marks’ or other stains.

 Remove the piece from the final rinse. Let the water drain out of the fabric, but DO NOT WRING.

 Place the cross stitch on a dry bath towel, and roll up the towel (with the cross stitch still on the towel).

 Unroll the towel and repeat on a dry section of the towel (or another towel). Gently pressing on the rolled up towel will remove all the water you need to remove. Repeat as necessary.

 Unroll the towel. Lay the cross stitch face up on a dry section of the towel. If necessary, let the piece air dry until it is just damp but not dripping wet.

 Once again, check for any stains or marks. Once you iron the piece, it will be even more difficult to remove any stains.

 Place the cross stitch FACE DOWN on a DRY BATH TOWEL. Use an iron set to a low or medium temperature and lightly press the BACK of the cross stitch. If you have beads, special threads, etc. you want to be extra careful with this step. Keep the iron constantly moving. If you have not used that iron in a while, practice on a scrap piece of cross stitch fabric. Make sure the steam setting is ‘off’, and the iron is not ‘spitting’ steam.  For the temperature setting, keep in mind the types of materials you used in the cross stitch; if there is any question, use a lower temperature.

 The cross stitch will still be slightly damp. Lay it face up on the towel and allow to air dry.

Stain Removal

Below is a reprint of an article from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute. It has some very good information on removing tough stains from needlework and textiles. This information is for spot removal of stains, not general cleaning.

Stains disfigure clothes and home furnishings, and it is desirable to remove them, especially if the stains stiffen or corrode the fabric beneath them. However, the removal of stains can be hazardous to the fabric – and to the person attempting to get the stain off. To be successful, care and caution must be exercised.

Old Stains
There is often the effect of time upon a stain: the older the stain, the harder it is to remove. Drycleaners who are trained in stain removal prefer to work on fresh stains which have not had time to “set” or react with the fabric, dyes, finish, or atmosphere. Generally, a stain less than two months old can be treated; a stain one-day-old is easier than one that is two-weeks-old, etc.

Perhaps the most distressing example of ageing is the soda or cola beverage stain which does not appear to stain but left untreated turns brown because the sugar syrup caramelizes (oxidizes) with time or heat.

Type of Stain
There are two fundamental types of stains: those that are water-based and those that are oil-based. Coffee or tea exemplify water-based stains. Paint, lipstick, adhesive stains are classified as solvent-based stains, so are latex type paints or Elmer’s glue, which contain water initially, and harden to a different, non-aqueous compound. Water-based stains, including most food stains, are acidic and will require an acid mixture to remove them. Oil type stains will need non-aqueous or “dry” chemicals (hence the term “dry-cleaning”) in most instances. Many stains, like sebum (“ring around the collar”), and smoke damage, are complex mixtures of oily-type components with water-based salts, acids or bases and particulate matter (carbon, dirt). Inks, especially ball-point and felt-tip pens, contain complex mixtures, along with pigments (colored particles) and dyes (water soluble, fiber absorbed colorants). Perspiration may be acidic or basic depending on the person. The residue is complicated by the composition of the deodorant or perfume used. Pet stains are also variable and complex. Vomit mixes bile from the digestive process with the foodstuffs themselves. Cat urine is not comparable to human urea, as it contains a sulfur molecule. Each is broken down and removed by enzymatic actions specific to the molecular structures. Other types of stains that require special chemical reagents are: dried aged blood, and food colorings like Kool-Aid�.


To remove rust spots left by needles try a little hydrogen peroxide on a Q-tip, stronger solutions up to 100 volume can be bought at Beauty Supply outlets but be very careful and wear rubber gloves it is a very strong bleach,. Test an inconspicuous corner first. 

Condition of the Fabric

Water swells natural fibers but not polyester or acrylic, so a water-based stain will go deeper into a natural fiber unless a special hydrophobic (water repellent) finish has been recently applied. Polyester or acrylic, in contrast, will repel water-based stains but absorb oily ones unless a special finish has been fixed on those fibers. Consequently, the success of a stain removal method depends upon the fiber type and finish.

Some dyes and finishes are set on the fibers in the same manner the stain is: with salts, with acids, with warm temperatures, and with time. The chemical compounds that give color to food can be very similar – even identical – to those colors found in shirts, blouses, or oriental carpets. Older fabrics loose their resistance to tearing, to stretching, and to rubbing. Removing a fresh stain from an old textile may require too much stress on the fabric and leave a rip where there was only discoloration before. Thus, many drycleaners and conservators are reluctant to risk this additional damage to an old textile.

Stain Removal Supplies
100% cotton swabs, absorbent paper or cloth toweling, a clean non-porous working surface (a formica or glass table top), deionized water (for steaming iron), bright lighting, peace and quiet, patience.

Stain removal requires an appropriate work area and appropriate supplies. Generally, it is better to set aside a problem for a quiet morning than to attempt to correct it in the midst of a party or dinner, beyond soaking up excess liquid or dabbing up excess solids (in the case of ketchup, mustard, vomit, mud).

Any treatment should be applied by tamping (up and down) with a small cube of sponge or cotton ball or by rolling with a cotton swab across the stained area. The stain should never be rubbed because this can abrade or rip the fabric. Stain removal is sequential and repetitive, because removal involves taking off a percentage of a stain with each application. It is important to confirm the stain or discoloration by limiting the amount of reagent liquid to a small area, flushing that small area clean onto a disposable, absorbent toweling, and then reapplying the reaction liquid. To remove 100% of the stain, even with an effective reaction liquid, five to seven reapplications of the same sequence may be needed because of the chemical reactions to the stain in the fiber can be complex and time dependent. As long as a portion of the stain is being removed, the reaction sequence should be repeated. If you haven’t the knack for such work, lack the space, time or quiet, you can ask a dry-cleaner to treat the stain without his washing or dry-cleaning the entire textile afterwards.

Stain removal can involve solvency (dissolving the stain), detergency (putting the stain into suspension), saponification (using the stain to make a water soluble soap), bleaching reaction (oxidizing or reducing the stain to decolorize it), breaking the molecule apart with specific enzymes.

Water-based Stains (Coffee, Tea, Fruit Juice, Fruit)
If the condition of the fabric – fiber, weave, dyes, finish – is good, then these water-based stains can be removed, if the stain is fresh. These liquids contain tannin and other acids. A small amount of diluted shampoo (no conditioner, no perfume) or dishwashing liquid can be alternated with applications of white vinegar, a mild acid. Here you are using “like to dissolve like” and detergency to carry away an acidic foodstuff. Be sure to rinse well with the deionized water, to blot and to dry the area.

Cola, Wine, Beer, Liquors
…contain alcohol, sugars, tannins, in water. Glycerine (a water soluble glycol) can lubricate (solvent action) the stain, especially red wines like Burgundies. Glycerine should be rinsed out with water and the tannin/acid portion of the stain removed with application of white vinegar and dilute shampoo (see water-based stains above).

Egg, Ice Cream, Milk, Vomit
… contain proteins and complex chemical compounds. Allow the stain to dry and then brush the solids gently off as much as possible. This will reduce the amount to be treated. Generally, enzymatic action is used to break down this type of stain. Some success may be found by using a dilute shampoo followed by dilute ammonia (an alkali). Silk and wool themselves are protein fibers and can be damaged by protein enzymes or alkali.

Salad Dressing, Gravy, Grease
The oily part can be dissolved by dry-cleaning solvent (perchloroethylene; 1,1,1 trichloroethane).  After these solvents have evaporated, the residue can be removed with mild shampoo (detergent action), followed if necessary by dilute shampoo with dilute ammonia. Alternatively, the oil can be reacted with a poultice of washing soda (sodium carbonate) and warm water. This poultice saponifies the oil into a soluble soap which can be rinsed off. If the oily stain has oxidized (turned yellow), this method will not work.

Inks
… are best treated first with solvents and then with water-based reagents. Effective solvents may be acetone, ethanol, or dry-cleaning spotting agents. When these have each been used separately and sequentially, (i.e. each evaporated off before the next is employed), then water-based treatment can follow, using a mild shampoo and white vinegar lubricated with a little glycerine. Because of the amount of work time involved and the number of reagents, it may be wise to consult a dry-cleaner.

Paint, Plastic Resins
… require dry-cleaning solvents preceded by reagents soluble in these solvents. because of the special ventilation and safety requirements, it is preferable to consult a drycleaner.

Cat Urine
Do not use ammonia. Porous absorbent surfaces like fabrics can be treated with enzymes available at the veterinary; dyes or finishes of the fabrics may be affected by either the urine or by its removal agents.

CAUTION
Acetone and amyl acetate (nail polish remover) are effective in removing lipstick, nail polish, by dissolving the lubricant carrying the pigmented color. However, these will dissolve cellulose triacetate fabrics (including the linings of ties) into a plastic pulp.

Ammonia or Alkali will react with acidic foods to make a permanent salt (i.e. a permanent stain).

Chlorine Bleach (“Clorox�”) will dissolve silk or wool – these fabrics will disappear. Cotton or linen will be bleached initially; with time, the fabrics will yellow slightly, weaken. More damaging than hydrogen peroxide.

Hot Water will set stain, but has been used to “push out” a stain by swelling the fiber by pouring boiling water from a height onto fruit stained cotton fabric (not a recommended method).

Club soda contains salt and carbonic acid (Seltzer water); the salt may set the stain (see below).

Hydrogen Peroxide is an oxidizing bleach with a limited action time. Used with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a poultice; may decolorize some dyes; will slightly weaken fibers.

Lemon Juice is acidic but cannot be left in. Remove it with white vinegar.

Oxalic Acid (rhubarb leaves, etc.) will act slowly on oxidized iron stains (rust) but can damage cotton, linen. More effective but more hazardous (to people) methods are used by dry-cleaners in controlled circumstances.

Perborate (“Clorox II�”) becomes activated at higher temperatures and releases hydrogen peroxide (see above).

Salt is sodium chloride; it will set tannin stains (wine, coffee, juice).

Water will weaken silk or wool. These fibers will stretch more easily, tear more readily in water. Cotton or linen will be stronger in water, but if they are aged or already damaged, they can be torn also.


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Cross Stitch at Stitchery X-Press and BubbaCanDance

I have had a number of people ask me about my eBay store.   you can visit it here. 

 I have been in the needlework business off and on for over 32 years.  I ran a business out of my house in California to Marine officers wives selling them stitching supplies.  I was a buyer for a chain in New Jersey. I had a store in Parker, Colorado and a store in Layton, Utah. 

My eBay Store 

 

Visit my Webstore 

I am happy to help anyone that has problems with finding hard to find items in research.

Visit either Stitchery Xpress or BubbaCanDance

 

 


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Types of Needlework – How to Recognize

Eli asked me to make a post about the different types of needlework so when you are out thrifting you can recognize what to buy and what keywords to use when listing to sell on the different platforms. I have done better on eBay with selling needlework kits of every type because of the international buyers.

I will also cover in another post the best types of needlework kits or patterns to buy.

First I will cover what is used with what looks like a sewing needle. This leaves out Crochet, Knitting and other forms using other needles.  I will cover those in another post.

1 Counted Cross Stitch – Counted Cross stitch today is known mostly as cross stitch.  Cross stitch is done on a fabric with squares.  The pattern is on a piece of paper and you count the squares from the pattern to the fabric. (sounds hard but it is really easy).  Kits come with different counts of fabric.  Aida is from 10 to 18 count (squares per lineal inch)  Hardanger is 22 count.  Linen is used in cross stitch and most of the time is stitched over two threads (example 28 count linen stitched over two threads would make the stitch count 14). I love the look of Linen over aida because you don’t see the squares.  NOTE: Make sure you read our next blog about buying completed finished needlework and what to look for.  

2. Stamped Cross Stitch – Stamped is cross stitch that is traced onto fabric, usually a cotton poly blend nowadays.  There are squares you that you cross over with the floss.  These squares are normally mixed in with lines to embroidery.  You can do fancy stitches or straight stitches.

3. Embroidery – Embroidery is stitched on fabric that has had the design traced onto it.  You can do a number of fancy stitches. This is what you see on dish towels. My grandmother had towels for every day of the week.  I always checked to see if she changed them daily….. and SHE DID.  Embroidery is stitched with six stand floss. You separate the threads into one or two strands depending on the look you want.

4. Crewel Embroidery  or Crewelwork –, is a decorative form of surface embroidery that uses wool yarn (acrylic is used sometimes) and a variety of different fancy stitches that follows a design on the fabric.  Crewel is usually stitched on a linen or canvas so that the wool does not pucker.  Make sure if you have kits that have part of the canvas silkscreened that you point this out.  (Photo 3 is silkscreened partially)

5. Hardanger – this has been called Hardanger embroidery but it is a counted form since you are still working in the blocks of the fabric.  Traditionally is it worked on white cloth with white thread but today I see it in all colors. It is worked on even blocks counting and using drawn thread techniques.  If you see any finished … just grab and send to me.. I collect it.   You will see this in doiles, tablecloths, runners etc.  It is really elaborate and if you find patterns they usually are good sellers but not big money.  The art is still so limited on who has the patience to do it.

6. Needlepoint – Needlepoint is stitched on a mesh canvas that is painted on the canvas.  You will be doing a half cross. There is also counted needlepoint where you would have an empty canvas and use patterns on paper to count similar to cross stitch.   You will see Mesh 12 or Mesh 14. This is how many squares are in a lineal inch.  (Needlepoint is my least favorite of any of the needle arts.) It is usually done with yarn.  Many new designers are using smaller mesh like 18 (squares per inch) and using floss for a different look.  I like the smoother look as it is not as bulky.

7. Petit (Petite) Point – Petit Point and Needlepoint are very similar in that they use canvas to stitch on and the same format but they are very different.   Petit point is just that…. you make tiny tiny stitches and usually stitch on single threads of Penelope Canvas or fine needlepoint canvas or Congress cloth which is 24 squares per inch.  Many people use Petit point to describe very fine cross stitch but since you are not crossing the full cross the term is used incorrectly.

petitpoint

8. Plastic Canvas – Plastic canvas is basically needlepoint done on plastic mesh.  You will see this used to make 3-d type items such as doll houses, magnets, photo frames etc. You cut out the designs after you have stitched and either attach to the edges to sew them together or finish off and cut the plastic so it i is not seen.

9. Smocking – I am covering smocking here because there are a lot of kits out there to make pillows with smocking. It is basically pleating and can be seen in the tops of dresses and on bonnets. There are two different types, English and Modern.

10. Brazilian  Embroidery – This is the one art I cannot tackle well. It is stunning and gorgeous but I don’t have the patience.  It is mostly flowers done in silk or Rayon Threads.


NO COUNT CROSS STITCH is the design silk screened on aida or linen with openings to do stitching to embellish the design.  This is different from Stamped Cross stitch where on stamped you have the design on the plain fabric in little blue squares and you stitch those squares.

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

 

No count example

No count example

 

 

There are other forms of needlework that include drawn thread, schwalm, blackwork etc but the above types are what you are going to see the most of in kits when you are shopping.


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