handle Natural Dye Thread Cover

How to handle Natural Dye Thread & fabric

The soft color from the natural dyes is significantly different from the vivid color with chemical dyes. We enjoy the color of Natural Dye Sashiko thread, especially in a process of making “Boro” so that both fabric and thread can age – change color – together with overtime. We repeatedly tested the color stability, either if the color fades out by washing, before introducing them online. However, the Natural Dyed & Hand Dyed Sashiko thread & fabric require some attention and understanding of how to handle. The color will not be washed away by regular care for the natural dye. However, we do not recommend to throw them to the washing machine with detergent (which may have kind of “bleach” in it). Here, we introduce how to handle Natural Dye Thread and Fabric.

“Don’t” do list | Handle Natural Dye Thread with care.

First of all, please never use “Bleach” in washing and to handle Natural Dye thread. One wash with bleach may (and most likely “will”) completely wash away the natural color and make it bright white. The bleach is strong enough to do its job – to make it bright white.

The point we have to pay attention here is that some of “regular detergent” may contain the same chemical as the bleach in it. For example, if a detergent say “stain removal”, then the detergent may be too strong for the Natural Dye color.

Also, putting the Natural Dye thread and fabric in the water with detergent for a long time is not a good idea. The more time the color touches the detergent, the more color may be washed away.

Do list | How to well Handle Natural Dye Thread

Generally speaking, the natural dye doesn’t go well with the chemical detergent. In need of using the detergent, please choose the “Neutral Detergent”. Although it is quite easy to find them in Japan, I do not find the neutral detergent easily in the US (we can find them but quite expensive). In that case, please try to find the “gentle” or “soft” detergent and make sure to test the thread and fabric if the color will be washed out or not. In my experience, most of the color will stay on unless the detergent is “gentle” and washed gently. However, as a baseline, please handle Natural Dye thread with maximum Care.

Super beautiful color from nature. Although the core enjoyment of natural dye is to enjoy the color change, it is so sad to lose the color.

Summary of Do and Don’t


  • Hand-wash with no detergent. Or gentle wash with Neutral Detergent.


  • Using Bleach, or strong detergent which may contain Bleach.
  • Machine wash with long-cycle (or extra wash cycle).
  • Leave the thread or fabric in water (with detergent) for a long time.

Understand the reaction process

It is probably difficult to find a “Natural Dye” items in the mass-produced market. It is because the process of natural-dye requires a lot of attention and care. The color from nature will not stay on the thread or fabric by dipping them into a vat. It isn’t like a watercolor, putting paint on the paper.

The natural color stays on the thread and fabric by chemical reaction with a catalyst. We usually use the metal, such as iron or copper, to make the reaction happen. In another example, the Authentic Japanese Indigo Dye (Hon-Aizome), they use the oxidation process to create such a beautiful blue. The fabric and thread right after dipped in the vat looks somewhat “gray” or “brown”. In a process of oxidation (touching the air that contains oxygen), the beautiful Japanese blue comes out.

The chemical reaction doesn’t mean using chemical materials. Here, chemical reaction equals to Oxidation and Reduction. Vinegar will make the liquid more acidic and ash (such as wood ash) make the water more alkalinity. Either of acidic and alkalinity affects the balance of Natural Dye and could end up with washing out the color or changing the color.

Therefore, we strongly recommend using natural detergent, or just water.

The natural dye before the Industrial Revolution

One of the big reasons we use the Natural Dye thread is to recreate the beauty of Japan in hundreds of years ago – before the industrial revolution. Back then, in Japan, they did not have the chemical (artificial) detergent or bleach to wash the fabric. They did not have a washing machine either.

Instead, they washed the fabric and thread by hands with care (attention). I hope you would do the same when you handle Natural Dye thread and fabric.

By the way, this is my personal endnote (which may contradict what I had written so far). Anyhow, I DO wash my Sashiko Stitched Denim with the gentle detergent in a washing machine… I had washed probably more than 100 times over 1~2 years, but I can still see the thread color. The yellow from mountain peach looks more like white, but it still has yellowish color (I believe). I always wash it separately, with a gentle cycle of the washing machine, with a small amount of detergent as I feel. I sometimes do not add the detergent, but at some point, the jeans get smelly that we need some detergent… I hope you can find your own way to handle Natural Dye thread and fabric.

Shop our Natural Dye Sashiko Thread

Spring Murazome Natural Dye Sashiko Thread | 2020 Collection

SKU 20S_ID_145Thread_MURA
Out of stock
Product Details

In 2018, "One of a Kind" Indigo Dye Sashiko thread made by an accident became the most popular Sashiko thread in our store. We had only a few skeins in stock, and many shared their disappointment in not being get them.

In 2019, we successfully created the similar color of both "Uneven (gradient)" and "Variegated" color for Blue and Green from Indigo. It is our pleasure to announce the new batch in 2020, for the Murazome Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.

...Well. Since all of the thread are "One of a kind", I probably did not need to separate the product from the 2019 Collection. However. I just wanted to update what is the color shade looks like in 2020. Again, every skein has different shade and color-scatter. Please be advised that the photos are only the benchmark. We cannot guarantee that you will get the exactly same skein as the photo shows, but I can guarantee that you will get the best "one of a kind". If you have any preference (for example, Darker Green in M3_Uneven Green), please write it down when you check out. I will do my best to match the color from our inventory.

【Update July 2021】

I added several photos of recent batches. The last 4 digit number indicate the batch date. All of the thread is "One of a Kind". If you have any preference, please let me know. I will do my best to match it to your preference.

2020 Indigo Murazome Collection

M0-(20S) Series - Variegated (Strong change in color) Blue - ( #0321 batch or 21-05 batch). The latest batch looks close to the photo. If I were to describe the difference, it is bit less dark in the darkest blue shade. It may be a between the M0-(20S) and M0L-(20S).

M0L-(20S) - Variegated (strong change in color) Blue - Lighter in Shade (Light Indigo at the darkest point) - Sold Out. Thank you.

M1-(20S) 03-21 or 20-05 - Variegated (strong change in color) Green

M1-(20S) - Variegated (strong change in color) Green - Sold Out. Thank you.

M1E-(20S) 20-03 - Variegated (strong change in color) Green - Please check the photo. The variegation of Green is less strong in comparison to M1-(20) 20-05 - Only 1 Left. Sold Out. Thank you.

M2-(20S) - Uneven (gradient as uneven) Blue. (03-21 Batch). Very similar to the photo.

M2 (20S) with other numbers. - Uneven (Gradient as Uneven) Blue - It is a darker in comparison to M2-(20S) on the photo, and You can choose the suttle difference from below. If you have the previous number, please refer to that The M2-(20S)-07 is similar to M2D-(20JE).

  • Closer to Solid → M2-(20S)-07 or M2D-(20JE) or 20-12 or 06-21
  • Closer to Variegated→M2-(20S)-07V or M2D-(20JE)V

M3-(20S) - Uneven (gradient as uneven) Green - The evenness is a bit closer to the variegated in comparison to the photo. They are still "Uneven" rather than the variegated. It may say, M3-(20S)-03-21
    • M3-(20S) 07 is a bit darker than M3-(20S) - SOLD OUT. (M3-(20S)07 - Uneven (gradient as uneven) Green Darker shade)
    • M3-(20S) A (or V or L) is a bit lighter than M3-(20S) // also it may be a bit closwer to the variegated rather than "uneven".

*We have very limited amount of inventory in the U.S. In case of short in inventory, the product may be shipped from Japan without charging you the extra shipping fee. The international shipping will take extra days to deliver. We may ask you to wait for a month to restock the item. When the stock shortage happen, we will let you know as soon as possible. Your understanding is very appreciated that the item is all hand-dyed with Natural ingredient.

*Again (Sorry for repeating so many times), please understand that each skein have slightly different color. The photo is our best effort to put the numbers on. If you have any preferences, please let us know by commenting in a process of checking out. We will do our best to meet your preferences.

*The Murazome Collection 2020 is slightly "less shinny" in its color. I prefer ”matte" in Sashiko thread, but if you prefer a bit of shinny thread, please check the Murazome Collection 2019. Very limited amount and will not be able to produce the shinny thread for 2020. Please visit the 2019 Murazome Collection here.

Product Information

  • Made in Japan
  • Material : Egyptian Cotton 100%, Natural Indigo (Product of India), Solution for Dye Process
  • Length : About 145 meter per skein
  • Weight : About 27~29 g

*This page is for Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread with Uneven & Variegated Color dyed in 2020.

*Specifically Designed for Sashiko purpose.

*Please refer to the article regarding our Natural Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread for more information about the materials and procedure for our Indigo Dye.

*Please read the article of How to handle Natural Dye Thread and Fabric.

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