Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Experiment

Monday morning I tried tea dyeing.

I used a large pot, family size tea bags and 1.5 yards of fabric. I put 16 cups of water in the pot because it looked like enough to be able to submerge my fabric in. I brought this to a boil then added 10 tea bags. I let that steep for about 20 minutes.

***The amounts and times were all just guesses. I have never done this before.***

Then I removed the teabags, put the fabric in and then put the teabags back in because I was hoping for some dark spots from where the bags rested on the fabric.

I let it sit like this for an hour. Then I took out the teabags and dumped out the tea in the sink. I started to rinse the fabric in the sink then realized there was an easier way.

I put the fabric back in the pot and carried outside. I clipped the fabric to the clothesline and got the hose. I sprayed the fabric with the hose on both sides for several minutes and left it to dry. I did get some light areas but didn't get the dark spots I was hoping for which is probably a good thing.

When it was dry I noticed that it smelled a bit like tea. So I put it in the washing machine. I was also hoping that washing it would lighten it up a bit since it is darker than I expected.

Above you can see the results. On the left is some the original fabric I started with and the right is the dyed fabric. It is darker than I wanted, but I will try washing it a few more times because I have read that this will fade the tea dye a bit. It has not been dried in the dryer or ironed yet so hopefully that will aid the fading process. And if it doesn't fade that is okay too. I will still use it because it is close enough to what I had in mind. The dyed fabric is for a specific project that I hope to begin working on soon.


Gene Black said...

Wow thanks for sharing. I didn't realize the color would stay so well. That is close to the color of a fabric I use a lot. I may have to do this and save on the cost.

Ella said...

I tea dyed silk dance veils for a Mad Hatters Teaparty dance number. They *still* smell vaguely like Earl Grey 2 years later.

Denise in PA said...

I tea-dyed some background fabric recently. I wasn't totally happy with the way it came out, but it was good enough!

Wendy said...

this turned out well for tea dyeing...use less tea bags next time for a softer look.

West Michigan Quilter said...

Looks like fun. I haven't tea died, but have rusted fabric. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this.

Mama Pea said...

The color is pretty. I see what you mean about it being darker than you wanted (just knowing what you were going for). Oxyclean? haha