Colorfast Testing for Needlepoint Threads

June 7, 2016Threads Standard


needlepoint threads

thread stash, copyright Napa Needlepoint


Testing to see if a needlepoint thread is colorfast can keep a beautiful piece from being ruined when blocked using water. Many threads (especially hand-dyed ones) are not fast and will run if wet blocked.

It’s easy to do and will take less than 30 minutes.

Here’s How:

  1. Remove your thread from its packaging and open out the skein if necessary. Do not cut it.
  2. Get some white (not colored or printed) paper towels.
  3. Gently, but thoroughly, wet the skein of thread.
  4. Gently wring out the excess water.
  5. Fold your paper towel in half and place the skein on it.
  6. Now fold the paper towel over it and blot.
  7. Check the towel — is there color on it? The dye is not fast. Replace the towel.
  8. Let the thread dry, check the towels again — is there color on it?
    Sometimes the excess dye is removed by rinsing the thread again, so repeat the process.
  9. If there is still dye on the towels, the thread is not colorfast and should only be dry-blocked.

Colorfast Testing Tips

red dotBe sure to give instructions to your finisher that your piece should be dry-blocked if any of your threads fail this test.
red dotIn general, if one thread from a line isn’t fast, I suspect all threads from this company will run
Because of EPA regulations, many colors, especially dark, vivid colors and most reds, tend to run.