First off, people have asked me before about fraying ends. I'ts not a massive problem with newer aida, as its tighter, and tends not to fray. However, if your aida is fraying, then you need to stop it, before the whole thing falls apart.
There are two main ways of doing this, the first is something called "Fray Ender". Its effectively a plastic/wax that you can either dip or melt onto the edges, which stop them coming apart. However it is expensive, and non-reversible. If you want it off, you have to cut it.
The second way is the most used. Gaffer tape. Simply tape around the ends so half of the tape is on either side. Cheap, works well, and you can take it off if you need to. Gaffer tape is masking tape, but leaves no residue.
Other suggestions: Zig-zag stitch the edges of your stitch with a sewing machine. Mixed response to how good this method is. Better than the next method.
Whip stitch the edges by hand. Mixed response to how good this method is. Very time consuming.
Now, stain prevention:
This is something most people take for granted, and in fact, so did I until I got a stain once. Then I started caring a bit more about it.
The most important and crucial step here is make sure you wash and iron your work. If you don't, the oils from your fingers can stain the threads, and if you ironed without washing, you can never get them out. They're stuck there forever.
There are stain prevention liquids on the market, which act as a fluid protectors, however is is definitely NOT advised you use these, as they are often made up of chemicals that eat away at thread.
To ensure your project stays as perfect as you wanted it to be, there are a few steps you need to take.
Touching - Oils. Lots and lots of finger oils. That alone should stop you touching your project too much, but constant touching and rubbing can damage the threads, and pull them apart. So hands off!
Sunlight - The sunlight can bleach the threads if in direct sunlight, so don't point it at the sun. A sunny area is fine, and if its behind some plastics and glass it also won't effect the threads, but check before you put it up.
Water - Although threads are made to be bleed resistant, they still do it. It just takes a fair bit of water. You should also be avoiding your project getting wet and dry repeatedly, as they often warp when they get wet. And then there is the problem of bacteria growth.
Ferrous Metals - Rust. Not something you want to get on your project. Firstly it won't come off. Ever. Secondly, rust likes to bond to fibers, so once its attached, it often spreads, despite there being no metal in your project. Most frames are free from rustable metals, and so you should be safe, however don't tempt fate. Keep any chance of water away from the frame. I've heard of people putting sealed frames in bathrooms to ensure they stay dry, but a sealed environment where condensation occurs isn't a good one.
Big Animals - Hairs. Can be a bit of a pain to remove I've heard. Your best off keeping them somewhere that cats and dogs can't get to them. But if you do, blow them off, don't hoover them.
Small Animals - Small animals and pests can eat away at fabric and cloth. Anything from a rat to paper lice like fabric, so you need to store your projects well. Projects which have been hung/framed, should be fine, but stored ones are not. There are very specific ways which you should store your projects, and if these are met, you should be fine. See below.
Air - You need to ensure your projects get air once in a while, but also don't have too much air. You should never keep them in an air tight container, as they will soon promote condensation, and water damage.
You need to store your projects right. I can't emphasise this enough.
- Do not store them one on top of each other, or with paper between. (Paper lice and other small animals)
Do not store them somewhere dusty. (Dust mites)
Do not store them somewhere with high/low air flow, or air tight containers. (Bacteria and fungus growth)
Do not store them in a sunny position. (Colour bleaching)
Do not store them somewhere they can get wet. (Fungus growth and leaching of colour)
- Do store them in plastic sleeves.
Do get them out every now and then to air them.
Do store them in a cover to stop sun light.
Do store them somewhere where they won't get too dusty.
If you do all of this, then you'll have perfect projects for years to come