Use a Reckitt's Blue Square (Cuadrito de Añil) as it was intended - for laundry bluing or as a pigment, for spells or for ink or a paint wash.
For centuries, bluing has been used to whiten yellowing or tell-tale grey natural material clothing - long before today's synthetic laundry additives! This was used in "the wash" (hand washing) - not in a modern washing machine.
Colored with ultramarine, imported from France, this was a wondrous find for anyone wanting their clothes and linens to appear bright white, including royalty. It is safe to use, made of the coloring mixed with some washing soda to stabilize the square.
To use the bluing in your hand wash, it is usually placed in a muslin or other cloth bag, or simply wrapped and tied in a piece of cloth, so that the bluing doesn't directly touch the fabric of your clothing and linens.
An excerpt of a letter from the laundress for the Prince of Wales was used in this very special advertisement of the time:
Buy Reckitt's Paris Blue in squares and beware of imitations.
I have been laundress to the Prince of Wales for several years, and I consider Reckitt's Paris blue is the best I ever used, and is undoubtedly greatly superior to the old-fashioned thumb or dark blue.
- Eliza Elder, April 12th, 1873
Bluing has also replaced the original toxic bluestone in magical spells as it has the same gloriously bright blue color - and because it is safe!
Now, here's the fun part, try using this little square in your artwork. You'll have to experiment - use it to whiten, to blue, pulverize it and use as a pigment. We've even used it as an ink! We could go on and on - but we think it best to just to play with it in your studio. It should pulverize easily for you. To create a wash or paint, simply dampen your brush, then smear it over the blue cube. Mixing the pigment or wash with an acrylic or gel medium might also be fun. Please test the dried art for smudging, or use a varnish or other finish.
Each square is approximately 1 by 1 by 1/2 inch. Instructions are printed on the back of the square:rap Blue in cloth.
Wrap Blue in cloth.
Stir while squeezing
the Blue in the last
rinsing water. Dip
articles separately for
a short time; keep
Blue squares, while created with thought and care, are intended for your artwork, your laundry, and entertainment and pleasure. We cannot guarantee that you'll be able to conjure magic and goodwill or any other powers with them.
Unfortunately, the ages old factory has closed and these bluing squares are no longer available. When they're gone, they're gone.
These are the originals - made in France. Don't mistake them for those from India or China.