After unpacking from Ireland, I wanted to treat my indigo dyed fabric to make them as colorfast as possible. Turns out, the internet has a dizzying amount of advice that ranges from "do nothing" to "use a salt water bath" or "soak in vinegar."
I chose the vinegar route. Several websites advised adding a cup of vinegar before the rinse cycle and stopping the machine so that it will soak. This strategy seemed an unlikely win with my brand and model of washing machine. I decided an old-school bucket and a few gallons of water would be more reliable. I added the vinegar let the bucket sit for two hours.
I put the indigo fabrics into a wash with two color catchers. I haven't found that product here in Norway, but I brought two boxes with me from the US when we moved. The pieces of paper absorb dyes in the wash, and I brought them because they are fantastic when washing quilts for the first time.
As expected, the color catchers grabbed a bit of blue. And the fabrics, thankfully, didn't seem to lose much of their color. Based on what I've read, I expected some of the indigo particles to come off, and I was excited that most of the dye has adhered well to the fibers.
I hung it all to dry inside as there's no shade outside. I think the avoid-UV-when-drying rule is when the fabric first comes out of the indigo vat, but it was easy enough just to dry these inside anyway.
Next step is to sew the smaller squares into a set of napkins. Not sure yet about the larger pieces, but I'm pretty sure they'll end up in a quilt.
It's hard to believe that just month ago I was in Ireland. Since then of course, it's been all-home-all-the-time, except the few trips to the grocery store and a few delightful walks in the woods. Strange times...