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I have been asked to share some of my processes for spot cleaning your needlepoint pieces.

Step 1:
If you have extra threads left over test them to make sure they will not bleed. Option two – if you have access to the back of the canvas snip small pieces of the loose threads. If neither one of these are possible, I have a tip to protect the threads from bleeding.

  • Soak a piece, no less than 2” in length, overnight in water. The color of the thread will seep into the water overnight if it’s going to bleed.
  • Even if the water doesn’t look discolored, I still like to take an extra precaution; take the wet thread and place it between two layers of a white paper towel and press it with an iron using the steam setting. The color will bleed into the paper towel.

Step 2:
My “Go To” treatment is Club Soda (Make sure it still has its fizz)

My first step is to use Club Soda before any other product. Use a Q-Tip or Cotton ball to apply the Club Soda to the soiled area. You may need to apply several applications because you do not want to saturate the area.

  • Remember I mentioned a tip in case your threads may bleed…add a Tablespoon of White Vinegar to a cup of Club Soda.

My second step is making a mixture of Orvus Paste, Club Soda and Vinegar. One cup of Club Soda, 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar and ½ teaspoon of Orvus Paste. Orvus Paste can be purchased in a Tack shop or a farm supply store.

The third product I like and have used many times for delicate pieces is Le Blanc Linen Wash. I mix this with water and sometimes when I question the integrity of the threads, I have added Vinegar.

If you need to remove wax:

  • Place a folded towel under the canvas to protect the surface the needlepoint canvas is resting on.
  • Lay a piece of a white paper towel over the wax (do not use decorative paper towels). Put an iron on the paper towel over the wax area using an iron on the steam setting. Press the steam button and move the paper towel around until the wax is absorbed.
    • There will be a residue left behind so start with “Step 1” to clean this spot.

Check out my FREE video showing my restoration of the Washington National Cathedral’s kneelers. This video shows more about cleaning an older piece that needs disassembling and restoration, and you also get a behind the scenes view of the Cathedral’s needlepoint.