HNW - Cleaning Needlework

Charlene Charette charlene at
Tue Sep 22 09:26:42 PDT 1998

EowynA at wrote:

> Hello, all!
> I just finished a piece of blackwork on linen, done in black Soie d'Alger
> thread.  I followed the advice of a teacher, Ms. Jane Zimmerman, and used a #2
> lead pencil to trace my design onto the linen before stitching.

OK, time to put my two cents in.  My grandparents were dry cleaners and then
passed the business to my parents.  Years ago I got the notion to make a pencil
grid to embroider a blouse collar (can't remember if waste canvas wasn't available
or if it didn't come fine enough).  Well, I washed and the marks didn't even
*think* of coming off.  So, I sent it to my grandfather.  This is when it was
explained to me that pencil lead contains graphite which is almost impossible to
remove, ink is a snap, and he wasn't able to get it out.  To save the blouse I
ended up ripping out the embroidery and Mom removed the collar and put in it back
on so the stain was on the underside.

So never, ever use pencil to mark needlework.  There are several disappearing ink
pens available that work well for this.  Also, if you do get a stain on something
and it doesn't come out in the wash, don't put it through the dryer; the heat will
set many stains.

Good luck.  If you do find a solution, please let us know.

- --Charlene

- --
The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions. -- Patricia

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the H-needlework mailing list