On a stitching message board, I recently read what turned into a rather heated discussion among stitchers regarding washing their finished projects.
For the record, I wash everything I stitch. I hand wash in cold water with Dawn dish soap. I rinse thoroughly, then roll the project in a clean white towel to absorb excess water, never wringing the towel. Then, placing the project stitched-side down on another clean white towel, I iron the project dry with a dry iron. I am at peace with that.
I am aware of a couple of ladies who chuck their finished projects in the washing machine and the projects come out clean and unscathed. It makes them happy and works for them. I am at peace with that.
I wash all my projects because I know that my body oil is more acidic than normal. I stitch in hand with a hoop using the stab method, so my skin comes in contact with the fabric and floss. This is the way I like to stitch. Stitching is my hobby that I do for enjoyment. Yes, if I used Q-snaps or scroll rods and stitched two-handed, I might minimize the skin contact. But I don't like to stitch that way. I am at peace with that.
I take care to wash my hands before stitching and I don't eat while stitching. Unless it's M&Ms - melts in your mouth, not in your hand! Because I have a hairy dog who sheds, my stitching may occasionally acquire "pet hair specialty fibers." I am at peace with that.
I know stitchers who are meticulous to use the no-soap hand cleaner on their hands before they stitch (but it only kills germs and contains alcohol). They are happy with their choice. They don't feel their stitching suffers. I am at peace with that.
Because I wash everything, there are some fibers and fabrics that I won't use because they are not color-fast. That is my choice. I am at peace with that.
And normally, I can read these types of posts (while gleaning worthwhile information from them) without getting my knickers in a knot. But this one person posted a response that bugged me. She sanctimoniously stated that she NEVER washed her projects as she took great pride in her work as a true craftswoman and took great care to keep her work clean. She went on and on, basically bashing the rest of us as filthy and uncouth droolers who could barely thread a needle. This gave me the urge to whack her upside the head; I had no peace with that.
I have news for her. Unless she only touches her floss and fabric while wearing unbleached white cotton gloves, she's leaving body oil on her projects. If her projects do "last for generations" as she proclaims they will, eventually, the oil will show up. And unless she's an alien, she's got body oil. I wonder if she knows how many of her shed dead skin cells end up on her projects? How does she avoid that? Hee hee! Let's not tell her about it! I am at peace with that!