Dark and rich colors are well known for running on the first few washes especially if you are dyeing your linen at home. Our own expertise with dyeing our linens, along with recommendations from our own community of Linen lovers have helped us put together these recommendations for reducing and stopping dyes running.
Our Linen is dyed on a large scale and is set according to the needs of the dye and linen fiber. They rarely run or leach, but if you are concerned, you can do a simple test to check. Wet a corner of your linen, and lay a paper towel or light-colored fabric over the wet area for 10-20 mins. If color transfers onto the fabric or paper, your fabric is probably going to bleed. You can use a color catcher in the wash to help 'catch' the dye.
We recommend pre-washing our linen on their own. Our full washing recommendations can be found in this article HERE. Pre-washing your fabric in cool/warm water will be all you need to remove any excess dyes and enjoy your linen without any leaching or crocking.
If you are dyeing your linen at home, you must use a dye designed for linen or natural fibers like linen. This is because not all dyes will 'work' with every type of fabric and fiber. Linen is a Natural fiber from the flax plant. It is categorized as a Cellulose Fiber.
Always refer to the dye manufacturers instructions for preparing your linen, and always use their recommendations for mordants and dye setters (most will have this 'built in' to the dye)
There are plenty of home remedies out there that claim to stop dyes running. Generally, these do very little since manufactured dyes are far more sophisticated nowadays. They are also suggested like a cure-all for any and all fabrics, however, we know different fibers require different dyes and different solutions for best results. Below are home remedies that some customers swear by.
These may work for your home dyed fabrics, but we recommend only following your dye manufacturer's instructions or other natural dyeing resources by knowledgeable dyers.
Use on our pre-dyed fabrics at your own risk.
- Vinegar: Soak your fabric in water and add distilled white vinegar at a ratio of 1 vinegar to 4 water before washing.
Vinegar is acidic and is recommended as a mordant for Wool (animal fiber) and Nylon (synthetic fiber)
- Salt: often used as an alternative to vinegar. It is commonly recommended as a mordant when dyeing cotton. If you've ever used Rit powdered dyes, this is a common suggestion by RIT.
- Hot water: Heat can be used to set dyes. Hot washing, however, can be detrimental to some fabrics and dyes over time. Heat can even strip some dyes, and the hot water may degrade your fiber, making it weaker.