Time: 30 minutes + wash time
Materials: cotton napkins, rubber bands, bleach, bucket, gloves, sink + washer
I’ve recently been obsessing over all the indigo dyeing tutorials floating around lately, when it hit me. Why not try a similar technique, but with bleach so it can be used on colored cloth? I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out when I started, but I’m pretty happy with the results. This process is great if you want to give old or stained napkins new life. Plus it only takes about thirty minutes to do a full set. What’s not to love about that?!! Here’s how:
Fold your napkins and tie together with rubber bands, similar to what you would do with shibori dyeing. If you haven’t tried that before, this tutorial is great! I found that the triangle fold worked the best for this process; the final purple napkin you see is actually the navy blue one in the photo above.
Do the following process, one napkin at a time:
Dip napkin into the bucket that contains diluted bleach. I recommend wearing gloves for this step to avoid bleach getting into any cuts on your hand (or having your hands stink for the rest of the day). Wring out and set aside. Once you notice the color starting to turn, takes about 1-2 minutes, rinse immediately and toss in the wash. The longer you let the bleach set, the more faded your napkin will be. The design won’t be as noticeable if you should leave the bleach on for too long, so you’ll want to be present during the entire process.
Once your napkins are clean, iron and then use!