Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tea Dyeing

Boil 4 cups of water for each yard of fabric you want to dye. When water comes to a boil, add 2 tea bags for each cup of water. Allow tea to steep for about 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and soak your fabric in the pot of tea. Swish fabric around if you want to achieve even coloration, move it less often for a more mottled effect. Depeding on your tea and your fabric, you might need to soak for an hour or as long as overnight. Once fabric is slightly darker than you want, remove fabric and rinse under cool water. Color will be lost by doing this, but you can always resoak if you want to darken it. Now toss your fabric into the dryer and tumble dry on a high heat setting to set the color.

Dyeing Tips
* Tea dyeing works only with natural fibers--Cotton, silk, linen, and wool.
* It's a good idea to test a small piece of fabric first.
* Peppermint tea yields pale yellow.
* Orange spice tea yields beige-tan.
* Hibiscus tea yields pink.
* Orange pekoe tea yields orange.
* All tea-dyed fabrics will fade with time.
* If you don't like the color, wash your fabric out with bleach.

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