Can Embroidery Thread Get Wet?

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When embroidering your embroidery threads, one question you may have is if they can get wet. Knowing the answer to this question can save you time and frustration in the long run. Read on to find out more about what makes embroidery threads different.

It is known that the colors of embroidery thread can fade if they are exposed to sunlight, but what about underwater?

Yes, embroidery thread can get wet if it is submerged in water for an extended period. This poses problems for individuals who wish to wear the clothing on which they have stitched an embroidery design.

It is important not only to air out their clothes after a swimming or bathing event but also to ensure that the stitching will not unravel when it gets wet again.

Can Embroidery Thread Be Washed?

Yes, washing is an unavoidable part of embroidering. If you do not wash the threads after your project is finished you will end up with all kinds of problems.

That means that rather than trying to protect your thread from water and washing it, the best thing to do is to take care of the problem from the beginning. If that means having a separate area in your machine for embroidery threads then so be it.

The other option would be to store your embroidery threads in a separate container to avoid them getting wet at all. All of these steps are considered safe if you know how to properly handle them without destroying anything in the process.

Can Embroidery Thread Get Wet?

Yes, it can but you have to be careful about how hot and long the water gets before washing your items. Fabric fibers are not always great at handling heat like rayon is.

For this reason, you may want to restrict what temperature and how long you let your fabric get in the water based on whether or not it will cause a problem. High temperatures affect many different types of threads.

Then when you start thinking about the different types of embroidery threads and fibers used, that can make a big difference in your decision to wash or not wash your clothes before wearing them or selling them for that matter.

Then the type of dye used to color your threads can also make a difference. The really bright colors and low-quality dye often do not hold up very well when it comes to water exposure.

That makes for a real mess and usually, a lot of money is spent in the process of putting your garments back into shape again. With all that said, you don’t want to be without your embroidered clothing or anything else for that matter if you think you might forget about it in the wash.

Always use your favorite cleaning products for all your fabrics, especially for items with stitches. The high heat of an iron doesn’t want to be used on embroidered items either.

Is Embroidery Thread A Colorfast?

Just because the colors of the thread used in an embroidery project are not as vivid after they get wet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the project will fail.

In fact, colorfast embroidery thread is highly recommended for use on clothing items. After being exposed to water, you may be surprised at just how vibrant your embroidery designs can be.

Also, keep in mind that just because a particular shade of thread is colorfast does not mean it will work for every design you have in mind. There are many factors that play a role in determining which threads are colorfast and which aren’t.

There are certain colors that tend to hold up better than others when it comes to embroidering on various types of fabrics. Darker shades of red, yellow, blue, or green tend to hold up better than lighter shades.

On the other hand, lighter purple and pink embroidery thread tend not to hold up as well when wet. Even then, if you are concerned about your threads not lasting in color, it is a good idea to choose a thread color that complements the fabric rather than one that will cause the fabric’s shade to show through more noticeably.

How to Clean Embroidery Thread?

The best way to clean embroidery thread is with a damp cloth. The damp cloth can be made from anything that is already soft and won’t scratch or damage the threads or your sewing machine.

The type of stains that you have on your design will determine what best way to clean them too. If you have food stains or other types of stains from liquids that run onto your embroidery, then it is best to wipe them off as soon as you can.

Some people even put a piece of paper towel over the stain and then blot it with the cloth until the spot has come out. If you wait too long, then the thread will be ruined.

You don’t want that to happen to your new shirt too so make sure to clean up as much as possible right away. It is always better to be safe with these items instead of sorry later on.

Does Embroidery Thread Shrink When Washed?

The only things you should worry about when it comes to shrinkage are if your project is cut from the material or do you use scalloped or other decorative stitches.

Then if you expose any embroidery thread to high temperatures, that will cause a lot of wringing out of the thread. This process can shrink it a good bit.

The best thing to do at this point is to grab an old pair of scissors and cut off the excess thread before putting your embroidered items into the washing machine. That way they will be cleaner and not too wrinkled when they get out of the machine. This can help prevent any damage that would be caused by shrinking threads in your projects.

How do You keep an Embroidery Thread From Bleeding?

The easiest way to make sure that your embroidery thread won’t bleed is to choose the right style to use. Then take the extra steps while you are working and laundering your clothing items.

When you use a non-bleeding thread, you can bleach color from your project. That is another way of preventing the color from bleeding onto other items in the same load of laundry.

Prewashing all of your clothing items beforehand is always a good idea as well as using a mesh bag if you are putting them into the dryer. But even then, some threads may still bleed so it is best to keep extra clothing on hand just in case.

Then make sure to launder your garments as soon as possible and not just throw them into a dirty laundry pile. Rinse each item off right away and make sure all of the items are completely dry before doing anything else. Then reshape them so any loose threads don’t end up on other clothes in the wash.

How to Hand Wash Embroidery Thread?

It is best to wash your embroidery threads by hand. That will always allow you to make sure that the temperature of the water doesn’t get too hot and that you are using the right detergent.

Washing them in an automatic washer will put them at great risk of getting tangled up and then damaged. If you are going to wash your threads in a washing machine, then make sure you don’t have any towels or clothing items already in there with them.

Using too much detergent can make your design bleed on the fabric and not even hold its shape when properly washed. So make sure to use just a drop of detergent and you can even wet the threads before you put them in the washer.

What Is The Proper Care Of Embroidery Thread?

Knowing what type of threads will get you the best results is just as important as washing them. If you use the wrong type of thread, your design could look odd and not at all like what you had in mind.

You will also want to make sure that you actually follow the wash instructions on your embroidered items. Knowing how to clean embroidery thread properly will make it last a long time and keep those colors bright.

The type of fabric that the thread is sewn onto is important too. Not just how much light hits the stitches but keeping them away from moisture can also help keep those colors nice and bright for a long time.

If the threads aren’t the right color, then you probably won’t get the best results with your embroidery thread. You will also have to make sure that you don’t cross-thread your needle or needle yourself.

This will only make things more difficult for you and throw off your design even if you seem to have everything in hand. Keep your stitches as tight as you can and don’t let them get loose.

Don’t think that any type of thread is right for all designs either. Some threads are better suited for thicker thread use while others are better suited for thin thread use. Just like how silk would not make a great needle felt, the same goes with other types of threads.

Will Embroidery Get Ruined In The Washing Machine?

Some types of threads are made to be put in a washing machine, like cotton thread and polyester thread. But silk and rayon will not fare well if you use a washing machine.

Washing machines can cause the threads you used to sew your design to unravel or cause them to tangle up. You usually have to do that by hand anyway if you want silk or rayon threads.

But when it comes to cotton, polyester and any other threads that can be washed in an automatic washer, it is best not to wash them at all. Just wash the items they are sewn on first and then let your design sit for a day before putting it into the wash with everything else for a load of laundry.

If the item is still new, however, washing it will be fine. Take a look at the care instructions on the embroidery thread to know if this could be a possible option for you.

Is Embroidery Thread Harmful to the Body?

You probably do not have to worry about the thread from your project being harmful to your body unless you have a serious allergy or sensitivity to it. For the most part, embroidery thread is among the safest things you could be using when doing any type of embroidery.

That means that if you are allergic to silk or it breaks out in hives and rashes, then it may be something you should avoid having near your skin. If you want to avoid an allergic reaction in the future, then do not use any type of natural thread for your projects.

It is also easy to remove from your skin if you develop any sort of allergies. But if you have never made a mistake and got the likes of a rash when doing embroidered projects or have an allergy, then maybe you would want to avoid some of the other types of thread.

Some people are sensitive to the silk thread and it can cause rashes as well as various other skin problems. Silk is not something you should be exposing yourself too often to unless you want a bad reaction or allergic reaction in the future.

Final Thoughts

Embroidery thread is not something that you want to get wet and stay wet. You should always make sure that you put it away in a dry place as quickly as possible. If you are using a humidifier, however, then make sure that you keep the thread away from it.

You should also take care of your threads by washing them before use and then making sure they are completely dry before putting them away. This article will help keep your threads from becoming damaged and frayed or faded over time.



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

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