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Monday, March 1, 2010

Hand lotions for use while stitching?

In response to my most recent post, SilkLover (what's your name, hon?) commented about using hand lotions while stitching. She had a good suggestion about asking at the LNS. Your shop should be able to recommend lotions that won't leave a residue on your work.

I confess I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to what specific ingredients to avoid when looking for a stitching-safe hand cream. Can any of you help define this?

I generally trust needlework shops when they say a lotion or cream is ok to use for stitching. I've tried several types over the years, including:

  • Gloves in a Bottle. This is the lotion my LNS currently carries. I used it for a while, and (in my opinion) it's fine for summertime, when my hands aren't terribly dry. It really does feel like there's a bit of a protective coating on your hands. I don't find that this lotion helps to moisturize my hands, though, so it's not my ideal lotion for winter.
  • Au ver a Soie Hand Cream. This cream comes from the makers of wonderful silk threads, so it should be good, right? Well, yes, it is, but it also comes with a pretty hefty price tag ($14 for a small tube). I didn't find it enough of an improvement over some of the other lotions out there to warrant the price.
  • Stitcher's Lotion. I received a small tube of this as a gift, and I really liked it. If I couldn't find my favorite cream out there, this would be my choice. Plus it comes in some wonderful scents!
  • Udderly Smooth Udder Cream. Yes, it's a silly name. It really was designed to be safe for cows' udders, but it's my hands-down favorite for use while stitching. I have had a hard time finding it lately, though. My LNS stopped carrying it a few years ago. For a while I could get it at Target, but not recently. Fortunately, MIL called yesterday saying that she got an ad for Rite-Aid, where it was on sale for only $0.99 for 4oz! She sent FIL to the store, and he cleaned them out (all 6 tubes). Even when this isn't on sale, it's only around $3-$4.
What about you? What other options do we stitchers have? In a day or two I'll create a poll with all of the lotions mentioned (above and in comments) to see what everyone prefers.


Mary Corbet said...

You've covered all the ones I've tried - I like the last three ok, but I find I don't like putting lotion on before stitching, despite what kind it is. Didn't much care for the "gloves in a bottle."

What I've found works best of the best for me is an olive oil and sugar scrub, and then nothing on the hands if I'm getting ready to stitch. If they start feeling dry again, I just do it again. I also use it in the mornings before going to work and in the evenings before going to bed, and after those treatments, I put my favorite lotion on (Organic Lavender by L'Occitane - wonderful stuff, feels great, smells good!) I've been doing this in a faithful routine for two weeks now, gearing up to work with silk, and it's paid off - the winter rough spots are gone, and no snaggy silk.


~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

Funny, couple weeks ago I had this exact conversation w/Suzanne @ Liberty Cottage as I figured working w/wool is also harsh on the hands, she says to avoid petroleum based products. She also volunteered her hands/fingers stopped cracking when she increased her daily water consumption. (Not sure about you, but I do not drink water, and should.)

I'm expecting a sample of *Gloves in a Bottle* in the mail, anxious to try it.

Now using samples of *Skin MD* from a hole in the wall pharmacy in Canandaigua ($14./tube). This has that *shield* you refer to, very silky, they call it *shielding lotion*. I quite like it, but can see a $14. tube of it in every room~yikes.

Udderly Smooth Udder Cream~saw 4 oz. tubes near cash registers 3 days ago @ Dollar Store in Fairport Village Landing, if you're still stocking up.

PS: I'll be glad to share my samples of *Skin MD* (small flat envelopes) if you'd like to try it. You could email me, would be glad to mail you a couple samples. If you don't want, no harm done.

Hope this helps some, Sue


Kate said...

By accident I found St.Ives Whipped Silk Lotion. It disappears completely and doesn't leave a residue on my stitching. I can use it as needed without any worries.

SilkLover said...

My "real" name is Julie. And to tell the truth, I try not to use a hand cream when I stitch so I don't leave a residue on the cloth/thread. However, I just happened to have a little problem with some very stubborn filament silk after responding to your post. After fighting with it for an hour (and the silk was stubborn?),I had an Aha Moment, and pulled out the Thread Heaven. Worked like a charm. Don't know if it leaves a residue though. May have to try the Udderly whatever it was lotion. I know what the tube looks like though - white with black spots. Moooo.

Susan D said...

I often work with filament silk and have very dry skin so this is a problem I can relate to. I avoid using lotion at all on stitching days but religiously use a cream containing 10% Urea at night. There are several brands here in Oz (marketed as 'for very dry hands') so I assume a similar cream would be available to you. They work like a charm.

Another suggestion that has helped me is to use gloves as much as possible in the kitchen - even when chopping vegetables as it reduces hand washing. Although it is a little awkward, if hands are really bad wearing gloves when shampooing your hair works as well!

Incidentally, since I started taking Evening Primrose Oil my skin is a lot less dry.

Anonymous said...

Great coincidence. Last night I tried 60 second hand fix from Crabtree & Evelyn. WOW! This is the best treatment for dry hands I have ever used. If you go to the store, they will do a hand treatment free obviously to get you to buy the product. You start with a scrub that's gritty & has shea butter. Rinse it off then follow with a nongreasy hand cream. It's part of the LaSource line which is on sale now. You can also buy this from their web store. I hope your surgery went well & you have a speedy recovery.

jdthmllr said...

I like a cream called Acid Mantle. It's non prescription but needs to be ordered by your pharmacy. It's not just an emollient, but also is focused on keeping the pH of the skin in the right range.

Jane said...

Hi, I've used the udderly smooth cream but find it a bit heavy and it takes a while to work in.
Almost all my Japanese embroidery colleagues and myself use zoom dry therapy. It's difficult to get hold of though as they only sell at trade levels. My tutor orders in bulk directly from them. www.artofbeauty.com

ChitownStitcher said...

Try your local Ace hardware store for the Udderly smooth. That is where I can always find it.

Molly said...

I've been knitting and sewing for several years. I had yet to find a lotion that I was pleased with, so I made my own. It has meadowfoam oil, apricot kernal oil and shea butter. I made it because I hate greasy lotions. This lotion absorbs quickly and is moisturizing without leaving a residue on material.