Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Over-dyed Floss Question

I have only recently started using over-dyed/hand-dyed floss.

I noticed when using the darker floss (especially reds) that the color sometimes transfers to the fabric.

I am stitching a section that has white touching a very dark brown. It does not matter for the pattern which color I stitch first.

Which will give me the least color transfer problems -- stitching the white first or the brown?
(I am thinking stitching the white first would be less problematic.)
Feel free to share any other over-dyed or non-DMC floss tips, too.


  1. I love my cresent colour floss. I haven't had that problem though, and I have used reds. Perhaps it's the humidity?

    I think your plan sounds good. Let us all know so we can learn from your work.

    Best of luck.

  2. Hi Stephanie! First off , are you pre-washing/soaking your floss before you start? I always remove the floss from the card and get a bowl and use warm water and let the floss soak for awhile,then rinse and let dry.I don't mess with doing that with extremely light shades like white, ecrus,creams,very lights peaches, and the like. Even in doing this , a little of the fibers can "tangle" with the other colors as you stitch and sort of transfer like you were talking about.I notice this sometimes even with DMC, especially black and red shades. When stitching a darker color , close to a lighter color, I tend to stitch the lighter color first. I hadn't really thought about it, but it's probably just a preference. Weeks Dye Works is going colorfast, however not a lot of shops have the colorfast lots in stock yet, and those that do will still have lots that are not. All the Weeks that are colorfast will have a red dot on the card, or so I was told at the store. Hope this helps.

  3. Parsley, It could be the humidity -- we get a lot of that down here ;)

    Sharlotte, I will try to rinse the floss. I only notice the transfer because I had to frog a nice size section and there was a slight "tint" to the frogged area.

    Thanks for commenting!


  4. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER get over-dyes wet or even damp. And when you press your project be sure the steam setting is off. I tried using a light mist from a spray bottle only one time. A mess. Sometimes the dampness from your hands is too much.

  5. Scharlotte is right about soaking the dyed colors to remove excess color before stitching something of real value. Afterwards, ironing the thread bunch will also set the color for you.
    As a longtime stitcher of XS and Needlepoint, I was taught to stitch the darker threads first so that the dark color wouldn't let off a fuzzy color onto the lighter thread. Also, it's safer going down into the darker color with your lighter threaded needle, than risking discoloration of the darker thread. Hope this makes sense.
    PS: I'm a new friend of your blog! Love what you're stitching and your generous ways...
    Hugs, Deb

  6. Oh,Stephanie! I forgot to mention that my DD lives in Lake Charles, LA, and I was just there visiting her for the last 4 mos. or so.

    And, did you know there's a right and wrong side of the DMC thread? Try to always take the tread off the skein in the easiest way it pulls off. The thread has a true "string" direction. If you sew it against the grain it will have a dulled finish and a frayed look...and, believe it or not, it won't be as easy to pull through your fabric. You can also tell if it's the right direction if it doesn't easily divide or strand when you try to separate the strands.
    Another important tip: Always take only about 13" of thread on your needle at one time. If you take more, the sheen will wear off and your piece will look dull in places.
    All of these tips are true of silk, as well.