Can You Put Embroidery In The Washing Machine?

Yes, machine washing your embroidered item is generally safe if the fabric is suitable for machine washing. For instance, embroidery on a cotton material can usually withstand machine washing. 

However, embroidered items on delicate materials such as muslin should be hand washed due to the fragile nature of the fabric.

In this article, not only will we learn the basics of machine washing embroidered items, but we’ll also learn essential tips like selecting the best wash cycle, choosing the right detergent, the ins and outs of handwashing embroidery, and the safest ways to dry these delicate items.

How Should You Prepare Embroidered Items For Machine Washing?

Embroidery thread, whether on clothing or items like home decor, art pieces, and wall hangings, can be washed. With proper care, your embroidered item should not be damaged when machine washed. 

Often for decoration, embroidery can have weaker stitches than those holding clothes together. Handmade embroidery might also unravel more easily than machine-made embroidery. 

To protect your embroidered item from the washing machine’s agitation, consider enclosing it in a pillowcase. 

Wash the item separately, making sure that any buttons or zippers are either absent or fully fastened. If the embroidered item is clothing, turn it inside out. 

However, for the utmost care, handwashing remains the preferred method, offering greater control over water temperature and agitation and a gentler touch for embroidered fabrics.

Know Your Embroidery Thread Type

embroidery thread

If the embroidery thread is made from silk or wool, you should refrain from washing and opt for dry cleaning instead. These threads are prone to damage when exposed to water. 

In contrast, embroidery threads composed of synthetic or cotton fibres can be safely machine washed or hand washed.

For best results, always refer to the specific care instructions provided with your embroidery thread or item.

Choose The Best Wash Cycle For Embroidered Items

30 Degree Wash Cycle

To preserve your embroidery, wash it on a low spin cycle to avoid distortion and damage.

Washing embroidery in a 30°C cycle can help maintain the integrity of the design and prevent the colours from fading. This gentle temperature is usually recommended for delicate materials. 

Use The Right Detergent For Embroidered Items

For washing your embroidered item, opt for a mild detergent that doesn’t contain any stain-removing ingredients.

How To Hand Wash Embroidered Items

To hand wash embroidery, fill a bowl, sink, or bathtub with lukewarm water. Make sure the water temperature is only as warm as your hand to help prevent shrinking or colour bleeding. 

Use a small measure of mild detergent and swirl it until it’s completely dissolved. Soak your embroidery completely and leave it in the water for 10 minutes. 

Drain the water and replace it with fresh, clean water, then rinse the detergent from your embroidery. Place the embroidery flat on a towel to absorb excess moisture and allow it to dry.

How Should You Dry Embroidered Items?

air drying an embroidered shirt

To protect your embroidered item, avoid using a tumble dryer for drying. The intense heat from the dryer can harm the embroidery, leading to shrinkage or fading of the colours in dyed threads.

Instead, choose to air dry your embroidered items. This gentler drying method reduces the risk of damage particularly for delicate materials, helping to maintain both the quality and colour of the embroidery.

While air drying is the preferred method for your embroidery, if you find it necessary to iron them, take care to avoid direct contact between the iron and the embroidered area. 

It’s advisable not to use steam during ironing. Instead, use a pressing cloth over the embroidery to create a protective layer against the heat of the iron. 

Additionally, consider ironing from the reverse side to minimise direct pressure and heat on the embroidered design.

SEE ALSO: What’s The Lowest Washing Machine Spin Speed?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to wash embroidery?

Yes, washing embroidery is typically safe, as long as the fabric type is compatible with machine or hand washing. For example, embroidery on sturdy fabrics like cotton can withstand machine washing.

How do you clean dirty embroidery?

To clean dirty embroidery, you can either machine wash or hand wash it, depending on the fabric and thread type. Use a mild detergent and choose a gentle wash cycle. For handwashing, soak in lukewarm water with mild detergent, and then rinse thoroughly.

Does embroidery shrink in the wash?

Embroidery can shrink in the wash if exposed to high temperatures or if the fabric and thread type are prone to shrinking. It’s best to wash in cool water and air dry to minimise this risk.

Which embroidery should not be washed and ironed?

Embroidery made with delicate threads like silk or wool should not be washed and ironed, as these materials are prone to damage when exposed to water and heat.

Can you put embroidered clothes in the dryer?

It’s not advisable to put embroidered clothes in the dryer. The intense heat can harm the embroidery, causing shrinkage or fading. Air drying is the safer option to maintain the quality and colour of the embroidery.

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