Embroidered samplers frequently yellow when they age, often so much that they appear a dirty brown colour. This is a combination of the natural degradation of sampler material and the acidic backboards they were mounted on. This acidity accumulates over the years, not only yellowing, but also adding to the fragility of the samplers and the degradation of their appearance.
Fading of the threads is also particularly noticeable in older, framed cross-stitch or embroidery samplers. These often appear an overall muted brown. Unfortunately, the fading of the threads cannot be reversed. The light damage which affects these threads is cumulative and we cannot restore the original colours once they have been lost.
Holes and fraying threads are common either from mishandling, accidental damage or insect attack.