Setting Colours

When working with 100% cotton that has been hand-dyed, it is recommended that you test the cotton to ensure that the colours do not bleed before washing your item. Dark colours and colours such as red and turquoise may need special care. I test all my colours before washing.

To do this:

  1. Cut a short length of yarn.
  2. Place it in a white cup, white bowl or white ramekin .
  3. Add a small amount of cold water.
  4. Leave overnight.
  5. If the water is clear in the morning, then it is safe to wash the item as instructed below.
  6. If the water has taken on some colour, then set the colours prior to washing as described below.

Setting Colours

If bleeding of any of the colours has occurred, then it is recommended that you take the time to “set” the colours when you are finished with your project. This is especially important with natural fibres such as 100% Pure Cotton and is to prevent the bleeding of colours in the laundering process. 

You will need the following ingredients:

  • White vinegar
  • Epson salts
  • Cold water
  • Colour catcher sheet(s)

Mix the above ingredients together using 50% cold water to 50% white vinegar + 1 tablespoon of Epson Salts for every cup of water and vinegar used;

e.g. if you have 2 cups of water + 2 cups of vinegar = 4 cups – you must add 4 tablespoons of Epson Salts.


  • Mix enough of the mixture to cover your item making sure that the salt crystals are evenly distributed;
  • Add colour catcher sheet(s) – number is dependent on the size of the item, use your discretion;
  • Add the item to the mixture and agitate to ensure that the whole item is soaked;
  • Leave to soak for approximately 20 minutes;
  • Rinse well in cold water until the water is absolutely clear;
  • Block and airdry; 

Once you have completed the setting process you will be able to wash as normal:

  • Hand wash in cool water using a mild soap. Do not soak. Colour catchers recommended.
  • Dry flat and ease into shape if necessary. Blocking is recommended.
  • Do not iron.
  • Tumble-dry at a low heat only.
To download a PDF document with this information, tap or click HERE.

I hope that you will find this information useful.


Love and light



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