Don't panic! Just keep rinsing the stitching in cold water until the water is completely clear and no more colour comes out. If you are worried about the colours running, wash your work at a high temperature. This actually helps fix the colours in your threads. It's worth remembering that you shouldn't encounter this problem if you choose one of the recommended brands, DMC, Anchor or Madeira stranded cottonThis is the most popular thread used for cross stitch and is sold as a skein. The thread is made up of six divisible strands. Pull out one, two or more strands to stitch a design, as directed in the key.. Save those cheapies for small quick stitch projects that don't require washing.