Friday, November 6, 2009


I know you're wondering what on earth is in this bowl. Well this is a bowl of tea & I'm dyeing some fabric in it. I need off-white shirts under the repurposed shirt dress costume & now that I'm sewing all 9 costumes, I don't have time to make 9 shirts as well. So I bought some white ones & will dye them with tea.
Have you ever dyed with tea? It's very easy & fun. I first did it as a teenager with my Mum, we used to dye our white bras a tan colour so they didn't show under white shirts. Something to remember: over time tea dye washes out as modern detergents have 'stain removal' properties, and this process is really just staining a whole article of clothing. There are some things you can do to prevent this, which I will elaborate on in my next post.
Tea staining/dyeing gives a brown/tan colour, the depth of colour depends on how long you soak the fabric in the dye for. I believe you can use green tea to dye fabric green, and different varieties of teas [including herbal teas] give different colours/shades. It's an inexpensive way of experimenting with fabric dyeing. I've become quite obsessed with fabric dyeing after starting to experiment with it in June. My biggest problem is how to find the time to utilise all the fabric I've dyed already!!
So what can you dye with tea?
- white bras like we used to
- fabric for a quilt [I'll post a photo of this next time]
- doll's clothes or children's clothes for a vintage look
- stained clothing so you can use it again
- shirts for under costumes [well, that's my next dyeing project]
- paper to give it an antique look
- anything you can think of as long as it's mostly cotton or linen.
I'll post the 'how to' instructions next time...

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