How to Tea Dye Fabric
Givingyour fabric an aged or antique look is very easy. One method is to usetea to dye your fabric. You can tea dye the fabric before using it orafter depending on its end use. If I am making a sewing bag forexample. I would dye the fabric before using it.
If I wanted to embroider on the fabric I would choose to tea dye the fabric after working on it simply because it is much
easier to transfer the pattern prior to darkening the fabric.
Although if you choose to tea dye the fabric after embroidering
on it be aware that the dye can effect the colour of the
embroidery threads used and can sometimes shrink the
fabric as well.
Todye fabric with tea place some tea bags in a glass bowl and then fillwith boiling water. Add a teaspoon of salt to help set the dye. Thenumber of tea bags will determine the strength of the tea dye solution.As a guide use approximately 4 tea bags for a weak solution. Let thesolution cool slightly. Wet the fabric to be dyed with warm water.Squeeze out the excess and then place into the tea solution. If you arewanting an even dye remove the tea bags. Leave for a few hours stirringoccasionally to ensure the tea dye is being taken up evenly.
Alternatively leave the bags in the solution for a more uneven result.Remove the fabric from the tea solution and squeeze out the excesswater. Remember the colour will be lighter when the fabric dries.
Anothermethod is to put some strong tea in a spray bottle and spray the fabricuntil you get the desired effect. Or you can dab the fabric with thewarm tea bags to give a more dappled result.
Another method used to age fabric is touse Parisian essence (found in the cooking section of the supermarket).Parisian essence is used in cooking for browning gravies, soups,broths, cakes and puddings. The same technique described above can beused for ageing your fabric with this solution. Simply substitute thetea bags with a 1-2 teaspoons of Parisian essence. Coffee can also beused as an alternative substitute, although is a more expensive choice.
Ifyou experiment with each of these methods you will find that they alldye the fabric a different shade. Tea will give a more yellow browncolour whilst Parisian essence and coffee give a deeper brown shade.
Once your fabric is dry and you arehappy with the aged look press with a hot iron. If you are unhappy withthe result simply repeat the process again to darken further, or soakin a solution of stain remover such as colourfash Napisan to bring thefabric back to its original condition.
Dyeing fabric with tea,coffee or Parisian essence can give your projects a unique aged feel to them.