DMC Thread Bleed!

Last week I was supposed to be making the 2021 temperature into a finished piece that I can hang on the wall. Buuuut, instead I was panicking slightly because when I rinsed the embroidery one of the red threads had bled into the fabric! Yikes! Was the embroidery I had worked on for a whole year essentially ruined?!

I asked for advice on Instagram and got various suggestions. Some of them involved different detergents and whatnots. But several people suggested soaking it in very cold water and since that seemed the least drastic method, I decided to try that first.

I put the embroidery in a bowl with cold water and let it sit there for about 36 hours, changing the water several times. Crossing my fingers that it would work.

And guess what? It did! I am SO relieved! The colour has almost completely disappeared, you wouldn’t know it had ever been there unless you know where to look. I’m going to leave it as it is, I’m worried that using anything else might affect the fabric or the embroidery and I don’t want to take that risk.

But phew! Water!

And in case you are wondering, the thread colour is DMC 321. In all the years I have been doing embroidery, I have never had this happen before, with red or any other colour. Although I have heard stories of red sometimes bleeding, but I really thought that DMC threads were colourfast. And I have used 321 plenty of times before without this happening. But I think in future I’m going to pre-wash it, just to be cure.

Thankfully, the red colour was only used on the E where it bled. The temperature it was assigned for in the embroidery never happened last year, so that’s something at least, I guess! :-D



  1. Carol
    April 19, 2024 / 7:52 pm

    Hi Carina~ I just made a baby pillow top for a grandson and used DMC 321 for his name. When I rinsed it in lukewarm water, the red color bled on mine as well !! Ugh !!
    Had you let yours dry before resoaking it in the cold water ?

    • Carina
      April 23, 2024 / 9:27 am

      Hi Carol, sorry you’ve had an issue with 321 as well!
      I think I did let it dry first before soaking in cold water but I can’t remember to be honest.
      I hope you are able to get rid of it. x

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