molded project
I pulled a WIP out of the cupboard to get something out of that kit and noticed that it is turning multiple (unintended) colors and actually has a white film/mold on a portion of it. What can I do to fix it? I've been working on this project off and on for 3 years and really don't want to throw it away. I've stored projects for years and this is the first one to do this to me. Any hints and tips would be very appreciated!
Posted by: lady_amos on 06/12/19
Well, there are some miracle stain removers for needlework, but by the time it changes colors and grows mold, I don't know. Don't give up until you've spoken to someone in your local needlework guild. Hopefully, someone in here can help... or maybe another group...But it's bound to be easier if they can see it. Good luck! 3 years is a lot of work...
by: VCESS on 06/13/19
I would take it to a cleaner. I would ask friends and neighbors who is reputable in your area. Insist on speaking to the person who owns the shop or the one who does cleaning. Don't just hand it over to the person at the counter. If what they say makes sense, then ask price.
Also, Google "how to clean a fabric with white mold" and also "how to clean a fabric that is changing color".
I would not touch it until seeking help first. Is the color change near stitched places? Dopes it look as if the floss is 'bleeding" onto the fabric? So sorry you have to deal with this.
by: Su Pitt on 06/13/19
I have to say upfront that I have NOT used the following 2 embroidery cleaning projects: 1) Orvis 2) Restoration
both these cleaning products have been around for years to clean yellow, stained embroidery and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them, but don’t know if they will clean mold off embroidery.
I think ‘’ sells the Restoration and
the ‘Orvis’ cleaner is discussed on the ‘’ website and according to the article Orvis can be found in farming stores because it is used to wash horses.
BUT before you buy either I would call a needlework guild to see if these products will remove mold from your needlework. You might also want to call ‘’The Silver Needle’ Or “The Crafty Ewe” which are two brick-and-mortar stores specializing in selling count cross stitch patterns, framing, and have been around for years.
STRONGLY SUGGEST you Do NOT clean the mold off the fabric while in your house or apartment. Molds contain spores that you could breathe in or float around your house.
Another thought, is the molded area on the fabric that you could actually cut it off?

by: Bermuda on 06/13/19
The discoloration is where my left hand holds it so I'm guessing I did not keep my hands as clean while stitching this as I thought I had. What are your thoughts on soaking in dawn dish soap or another mild cleaner? Unfortunately it cannot be cut off (though that was a good suggestion). Honestly this project has been annoying from the get go. I have been fighting with myself to finish it anyway. I may try to clean with dawn or color safe laundry soap and hope I doesn't bleed to much. It is mainly black so if it bleeds to the threads around it the shading on the black panther may look better. If it bleeds to the tan/off white back ground maybe it will make it look like it is in shadow. I'll take before and after pictures for sure.
by: lady_amos on 06/13/19
If you decide to soak, use COLD water to decrease bleeding. Other stitchers will see your chat and probably give you their advise.
Read up on it and article warned that dark, humid areas encourage mold growth including storage areas like closets that are against exterior walls of the house have increased humidity, which I never knew.
Here is the Silver Needle contact info:
©2019, Silver Needle, Ltd
The Silver Needle, Fine Needlework Materials

6068 S. Sheridan Tulsa, Ok. 74145
(918) 493-1136 Fax: (918) 493-1933
US Toll Free Order Line: (888) 543-7004
Store Hours: 10 -- 6 CST, Monday -- Saturday
Contact Us
by: Bermuda on 06/13/19
Golly, kind of scary what's on our hands when we think them clean! I'm afraid to make any suggestions till you know what it is. Could it be something as simple as handcream?
by: VCESS on 06/13/19
I know we had issues with black mold in the house we lived in before ( we just moved to VA) but I worked on it less than 3 months ago and it was fine. I've stored stuff much longer than that and it was fine. I'm going to soak it in cold water (thanks for that tip) either with dawn or mild soap (we make our own) and see what happens. If it ruins it completely then I guess it is time to start a new project that I liked better anyway. If anyone knows of a stitching guild in the Shenandoah Valley area let me know. There is a little cross stitch shop about 15 minutes from me but I still haven't made it there before it closes. (tried twice - closed for memorial day weekend and the other time she was headed to church so couldn't stay open a few more minutes longer.) I will keep trying though. Maybe she will have a list of people in the area for cleaning and framing.
by: lady_amos on 06/13/19
Google for your should give you a local number...county, at least. If not, call your they will gladly give you a number. Good luck! ☺
by: VCESS on 06/13/19
As far as the discoloration from where your hands touched it, I would guess that's from the bacteria that normally lives on our skin. (Think ring-around-the-collar and the Shroud of Turin) It's normal and you washed your hands well enough. Just remembering my microbiology classes from forever ago to try to reassure you. :-) The other stitchers gave some excellent suggestions that I'm going to note for future just in case.
by: denise.debolt on 06/13/19
If the piece is something of value to you, I'd definitely suggest contacting a needlework guild/society or other specialist to see what they recommend. Here in Northern Virginia there's an annual needlework exhibition at historic Woodlawn Plantation; if you Google it you'll probably be able to find the name of the needlework guild that sponsors the show. They might have some suggestions.

It sounds like you'd prefer to try something yourself -- I'd probably feel the same way. I'd probably use a soft brush to try to remove any dry mold, then soak the piece in gentle dish or laundry detergent in hopes that most of the staining will come out or fade. Be careful though, because the mold may have damaged the fabric. I'd avoid using bleach, even diluted bleach, because it may discolor the floss. If the fabric remains stained and you'd like to try to make it less noticeable, maybe you could use tea or coffee to stain other areas of the fabric. I'd try staining a piece of scrap fabric (or use the very edges of your piece) first to see how it looks, maybe dabbing different strengths of tea or coffee in different areas. Not all teas are brown; different flavors of tea have different colors, some may be reddish, pinkish, or orange.

Whatever you try, let us know the results!
by: MaryC on 06/15/19