How to Wash Embroidered Clothes and How to Care for Them At Home
People have embroidered and embellished clothes for thousands of years. Artists have painstakingly created fine needlework on clothing, from abstract designs to delicate flowers, animals, and figures.
In modern times, much of the embroidery we see on clothing is now done with a machine. But whether the embroidery is by machine or hand, nothing’s more disappointing than washing your clothes and finding the embroidery damaged or coming out. Embroidered clothing may need different care than your other clothing. But don’t fret—that doesn’t mean you’re going to make sudden trips to the dry cleaner. You can care for most embroidered clothing pieces at home.
How to Wash Embroidered Clothes
Whether you’re cleaning a vintage embroidered garment or a new pair of embroidered jeans, there are some simple yet effective methods for cleaning them without damaging the item. In this article, we’ll look at the basics of embroidery, what makes it so delicate, and how you can care for your embroidered clothes to ensure they stay beautiful for a long time.
What is Embroidery?
Embroidery is using a needle and some kind of thread to decorate a piece of fabric (like womens jeans for example). There are many types of needlework, including:
- Drawn Thread
Needlework artists and sewing machines utilize many types of stitches to create designs and effects on clothing. There are so many types of embroidery thread and embroidery floss in an array of bright colors.
If you are interested in embroidering your own clothing, read our other article on how to embroider jeans.
Why Is Embroidery So Delicate?
Embroidery is often a delicate process to create. In addition, you may need to create a care routine for your embroidered clothes. Other clothes can snag the delicate, exposed threads in the wash. The high heat of your dryer can damage the materials or cause the base fabric to shrink, pulling at the embroidered stitches. And both the washer and dryer can damage or fade the bright colors of the threads.
How to Care for Embroidered Clothes
Even high-quality embroidery needs special care to stay beautiful and undamaged for longer. And if you are washing delicate handwork, you’ll need to take even more precautions. Checking the care tag on the garment is not always enough guidance since the care tag often only applies to the base fabric and not to the embellishments.
How to Wash Embroidered Clothes
You can keep your embroidered clothes clean and beautiful with a few washing tricks. The ideal method is to hand wash in a mild detergent and cool water. It is essential not to wring the clothing out since this can pull the stitching. However, hand washing isn’t always practical or possible. While many online sources and fabric tags may advise against machine washing, you can use this method with some modifications that reduce the risk of damaging the handcrafted garments.
When using a washing machine, set it to the coldest setting possible to avoid color bleeding, especially on light-colored garments. If there is a stain, avoid chlorine bleach stain cleaners. Hopefully, you can stick with the delicate wash cycle, but if you have stubborn stains, opt for chlorine-free bleach to preserve the embroidery thread colors. You can also opt for spot cleaning soiled areas with a mild fabric shampoo. Always rinse in cold water, and avoid fabric softener.
How to Wash Embroidered Jeans
Denim is a durable fabric, but it may have delicate embroidery that could catch and snag on other clothing items. You can protect your embroidered denim by turning them inside out before placing them in the washing machine, hand washing them, or avoid washing them with other jeans and bulky items with snaps, zippers, or hooks. Whether your jeans have custom embroidery or embroidery from a sewing machine, you’ll need to take these extra steps to ensure the designs stay beautiful for longer than one wear.
Are Embroidered Jeans in Style
Embroidered jeans are in style and have made a comeback in a big way. This beautiful craft is showing up on back pockets, front pockets, down the legs, and at the hems of just about every cut and style of womens denim. Embroidery is showing up everywhere, from luxury clothes to fast fashion.
And embroidery adds interest and color to your denim, and many models, influencers, and fashion gurus are sporting the look on the street and social media. For some, the embroidered look is part of the cyclical nature of fashion, recalling embroidered looks of the 1970s and the 1990s. For others, embroidery is an outgrowth of visible mending and patchwork, which focuses on prolonging the life of clothing and jeans.
What to Wear with Embroidered Jeans
There are as many ways to wear embroidered jeans as embroidery patterns. Which is to say—the possibilities are endless. Embroidery and needlework can give your jeans a funky flare, subtle detail, or a hint of high fashion. Some fabulous outfit ideas include:
- Sweet and Tough: Pair some flower-embroidered jeans with uneven or frayed hems with a pleated denim jacket. To soften the look, try a silk shirt under your denim jacket. Add chunky boots or sleek booties.
- Casual Flare: A simple white t-shirt is denim’s best friend.Great-fitting jeans with a subtle embroidered denim pocket and some white sneakers finish the look.
- Crop Top and Girlfriend: A cropped sweater or sweatshirt looks fabulous over a pair of light-washed girlfriend jeans with sweetly-embroidered flowers on the legs.
- Flutters and Flowers: Flower-embroidered jeans and a flutter-sleeved top create a feminine look that’s great for both day and nighttime looks. Pair this top and bottom combo with heels, loafers, or strappy sandals.
Some Final Thoughts on Embroidered Clothing Care
Remember, if you’re not keen to dry clean, you can keep your embroidered clothes looking new and lovely with just a few wash modifications. If you don’t have the time to hand wash, you can still enjoy the embroidered denim trend without fear by using care when machine washing. Avoid high heat to dry your items—air drying is best if possible. Finally, turn your clothes inside-out to iron, and place a wet muslin cloth between the garment and the iron when possible.