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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Hi all,

I have 2 gorgeous Hmong throws but the colour rubs off terribly on my hands even without a hint of moisture. It is blue indigo with several panels of 'corrugated' orange & pink embroidery. I'd like the colour not to run to these panels as the contrast is stunning. Once 'fixed' I'll put a backing of either sheeting or drill cotton to protect the embroidery.

I also bought a green dyed Hmong bag & experimented with 1cup of white vinegar, and a good handful of salt in a tub - soaked for 5mins, then dried. This seems to have worked OK although some colour stayed in unevenly where I hung it on the line with pegs.

So 2 questions:

1. Can I re-wash the bag to remove this 'high tide' line
2. Is this method sufficient for the bedspread (considering I usually have white sheets!!).

ALSO, the 2nd 'blanket' is just embroidery (absolutely stunning, the artisans are just amazing). With a 20mm indigo fabric border - If I do fix it as above, will the indigo stain the embroidery?


Any suggestion on a 'better' method or confirmation of this method muchly appreciated.

Look forward to your reply!

Kindest regards,
Janey.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Janey

It is the nature of indigo that colour will rub off. However, it does not actually stain i.e. dissolve into another fabric as it is not soluble in water.

See some of the description of the chemistry of indigo from http://www.indigopage.com/chemistry.htm :
Quote:
Blue indigo does not react with and will not bind chemically to fabric fibres, as most dyestuffs do. However, in the presence of a reducing agent (e.g. alkaline pH) it can undergo a two stage reduction (gain of electrons) on the oxygen atoms at positions 3 and 3' to a soluble form. Oxidation - reduction occurs when electrons are transferred from a donor (oxidising agent) to an acceptor (reducing agent). An indigo dye vat provides a reducing environment to keep the dye in solution. In this form indigo will penetrate and adhere to fabric fibres. When the fabric is removed from the vat in-situ oxidation of indigo occurs and the oxidation traps the molecule in the matrix of the fabric. This process is dramatic to watch because the soluble form of indigo is yellow and, as it contacts air, oxidation occurs that changes the colour to deep blue in a few moments. A single step dyeing process such as the one described here does not require an alkaline dye environment because the dye is disposed of once oxidised and will not need to be re-used.

Oxidation of indigo to its blue insoluble form is facilitated by exposure to air, heat and strong light. Once oxidised, indigo molecules are trapped inside the fibres of the surface, to which they were applied. Fading occurs as the small molecules drop out of the cellulose or protein bundles of the fabric and the three dimensional structure that holds them. Wear and flexing promote this loss of indigo dye.


I would be very cautious about washing because of the orange and pink embroidery - these colours are likely to be very fugitive. You might be better to air the quilt (not in direct sunlight or this will fade the other colours) so that the loose indigo particles brush off. Gently brushing with a soft brush may also help. If the blue come off onto your bed linen it should not actually stain it but there will be loose particles of indigo sitting on the surface of the bed linen. At least a blue cast will make your white bedclothes look nice and fresh and clean!!! If you must wash then make sure that the water is cool or cold and do not leave the bedcover soaking in the water as this will allow the other dyes to move and soak into the rest of the fabric. Sometimes some salt added to the water can help 'fix' the other dyes but I would not be too hopeful. Do not leave anything washed bunched up whilst wet but try and keep flat as much as possible to stop the pink/orange dyes moving into other fabric touching them.

The bag. Not easy! Yes, try washing again as you have already done so. The best way to dry is to dry flat. First roll in a towel to get out excess moisture and then lay on towels flat on the ground to dry, not in direct sun to avoid fading.

Good luck!

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http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:40 am
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Thanks very much Pamela - I appreciate your advice.

Janey.

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Janey S


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