How to Care for Your Custom Embroidered Clothing

Adding embellishments like embroidery, sequins, crystals and beading to a piece of clothing or an accessory can take it from ordinary to a one-of-a-kind extraordinary. However, knowing how to care for it may seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little effort and a gentle hand, your embellishments can last as long as the garment they adorn.

Swarovski Crystals, Rhinestones, Sequins and Beads

The sparkle of crystals and sequins adds a touch of glitter when attached to a piece of clothing, but to keep them secure and intact, you must always turn your garment inside out before hand washing. Use a gentle laundry soap like Woolite or Zero that doesn’t contain bleach and follow the directions on the package. Dunk the item in plenty of soapy water and hand wash it gently, avoiding the crystals. Keep it submerged in the water longer than normal. Rinse in clear cool water by submerging the garment and gently moving it around to release the soap and dirt. Dry by rolling the wet material in a clean towel, gently pressing to get rid of excess water, then dry completely on a flat drying rack in direct sunlight. Avoid ironing, as the heat may loosen the glue or damage and melt the embellishments.

Extra Tips
  • Always follow any care instructions on the clothing label.
  • Some items like jeans may be too heavy or too big to hand wash yourself. In that case, use a washing machine set on the gentle cycle.
  • For those items that are stained but not really dirty overall, try spot cleaning the stain first rather than washing the whole item.
  • If using a washing machine, place the outfit in a mesh laundry bag first. If a crystal falls off, it will be easy to find and reattach afterwards.
  • To remove a stain or spot clean a garment, try club soda and a small rag or toothbrush. Work from the outside of the stain inward and blow dry the fabric to avoid leaving a ring.
  • A spritz of fabric freshener spray applied on the inside of an outfit can make the clothing fresh without the need to wash.
Embroidery Threads both Colored and Metallic

Check clothing labels for specific cleaning instructions, and always spot test a cleaning method before using it on the whole item. However, be aware that clothing labels probably pertain to the fabric and not the embroidery. In general embroidery can be machine washed using cold water on the hand wash or delicate cycle. Use gentle laundry soap and only a small amount of non chlorine bleach if necessary. Don’t leave clothing soaking in water or lying about damp. Never wring out or rub stained embroidery. Like all other laundry items, wash colored embroidery separately from white, and pack lightly in the machine to avoid excess rubbing and friction. Embroidered garments should be dried immediately in a medium heat dryer or by laying them inside-out on a flat surface in the sun.

Extra Tips
  • You can dry clean your embroidered clothing but avoid pre-spotting agents and use extreme care.
  • Always iron inside out, use a low heat setting and sandwich the garment between two clean pieces of cloth. Do not use steam or any other agent that will cause the embroidery to become wet.
  • Never pour fabric softener directly onto embroidered fabrics. Instead add it to the final rinse water.