Thursday, November 19, 2009


Gather your tools:

garment/fabric to dye

stainless steel bowl or saucepan

tea bags


wooden spoon

1. Make up a solution of strong tea in a bowl or saucepan - I can't tell you how many tea bags or what volume of water - it depends on the colour depth you want to achieve, and how much fabric you are dyeing. You can always repeat the process if it's not dark enough, or wash/bleach if it's too dark.

REMOVE THE TEA BAGS before going any further, or you will get extra colour in the areas up against them.

2. Wet fabric with plain tap water. Whenever you are dyeing fabric or garments you should do this to ensure even take up of the dye.

3. Place into tea solution and stir with spoon to ensure tea touches all parts of fabric. The more the fabric can move around freely in the pot, the more even your colour will turn out [NOTE THIS POT IS TOO FULL].

4. Leave in for a minimum of 10 minutes, and then take out to check, remembering the colour is always darker when wet [leave overnight if you want a really strong colour].

5. Rinse under tap [a lot of colour will come out, this is normal] until water runs clear. This step is very important. You can add a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent, if desired.

6. Wring out or spin in machine to get as much water out as possible.

7. Dry in dryer [heat helps to set the colour] or iron when line dry.

Fabric dyeing is extremely addictive. Once you start experimenting with different strengths of tea, different types of tea [yes, green tea gives a green dye], different methods of fabric preparation [tying, dipping, leaving fabric dry, not stirring], different lengths of time the fabric is in the solution etc etc you will be hooked!

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