How To Set Indigo Dyed Fabric

How To Set Indigo Dyed Fabric

Indigo dye is a natural dye that has been used for centuries to color textiles. It is known for its rich, deep blue color and is still popular today in many cultures. If you have indigo dyed fabric and want to make sure it stays vibrant and doesn’t fade, it’s important to know how to set the dye properly. In this article, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to set indigo dyed fabric.

Before you can set the indigo dye, you need to rinse the fabric thoroughly. This will help remove any excess dye and prepare the fabric for the setting process. Use cool water and rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.

Next, you’ll need to prepare a setting solution. There are a few different options for this, but one common method is to use a mixture of vinegar and water. Mix one part vinegar to four parts water in a large bowl or bucket.

Place the rinsed fabric into the setting solution and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. You can leave it in the solution for up to an hour if you want to be extra cautious.

After the fabric has soaked in the setting solution, rinse it again with cool water. This will help remove any excess vinegar and prepare the fabric for washing.

Finally, wash the fabric in cool water with a gentle detergent. You can wash it by hand or in a washing machine, but be sure to use a gentle cycle and avoid using hot water or bleach. Once the fabric is washed, hang it up to dry or lay it flat to dry.

Can I use a different setting solution?

Yes, there are different options for setting the dye, including using salt or a commercial dye fixative. However, vinegar is a common and affordable option that works well.

Will the indigo dye still fade over time?

All dyes will fade over time with exposure to sunlight and wear. However, setting the dye properly can help prolong the vibrancy of the color.

Can I use hot water to wash the fabric?

It’s best to avoid using hot water when washing indigo dyed fabric, as this can cause the dye to bleed and fade. Stick to cool water and a gentle detergent.

Can I dry the fabric in a dryer?

It’s best to air dry indigo dyed fabric to avoid any shrinking or fading that can occur in a dryer. Hang it up to dry or lay it flat to dry.


Setting indigo dyed fabric can help prolong the vibrancy of the color and prevent bleeding or fading. It’s an easy process that can be done with common household ingredients like vinegar.


When rinsing the fabric, be sure to use cool water to avoid any bleeding or fading of the dye. Similarly, when washing the fabric, stick to cool water and a gentle detergent to prevent any damage to the color.


Setting indigo dyed fabric is an important step in ensuring the color stays vibrant and doesn’t fade. By rinsing the fabric, preparing a setting solution, soaking the fabric, and washing it with a gentle detergent, you can help prolong the life of the dye. Remember to avoid hot water and a dryer, and use cool water throughout the process.

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