Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tea or Coffee Dying Fabric and Trims

I thought you might like a little recipe on dying fabrics and trims. Cotton fabrics and trims - lace - tend to take the dye better that fabric or trim that has polyester in it. I think the polyester keeps the fabric from being able to absorb the dye.

First I rinse the fabric and lace out in a bowl in my sink. I add a small drop of dish soap to about a half bowl of water. Swish the fabric and trim around. Pushing the fabric into the water to make sure it gets wet. Then I rinse it out with cold water. Try to remove as much water from the fabric as you can at this point. This removes the sizing from the fabric and allows it to absorb the dye in the tea or coffee.

Second get out your largest pot, I use my spaghetti noodle pot, and fill at least 1/2 to 2/3's full with water. Now get out your cheapest tea. One of my friends recommended Big Lots for tea so I bought a huge thing of Lipton's there. You are going to need between 12 and 15 bags of tea.
Add this to your water and start to heat it up.

Different tea will make up different colors. Tea with raspberries or fruit will be a little on the piker side. Chamomile is a deep rich reddish brown. There are yellow tea and black teas give off a walnut color. The stronger you brew your tea the stronger the color is going to be.

Coffee is also something that you can use. It is easy to brew and makes lovely dyed fabric.

If I use coffee I prefer one of the French Vanilla kinds. I love this Folgers brand. The coffee comes in these pods and make throwing in the pot very easy. I usually use two or three of these to a pan. The fabric smells so yummy. I think it is the vanilla.

So your pot of tea or coffee is heating up. I let mine actually boil. Then add your fabric and turn the heat off and move pot off the burner. I use a wood spoon to mash the fabric and lace around till everything is wet and or submerged in the liquid. I let it sit for three to five hours, sometimes overnight. Where the tea bags or coffee pods are the fabric will be darker. It gives a nice effect.

The last thing to do is remove the fabric and trims from the pot. Squeeze out all the excess liquid. I then throw the fabric in the dryer. Once dry, iron and use. Now if you are worried about your dryer, take a dishtowel you don't care about, wet, ring out and throw in dryer. This will clean dryer if it is dirty. Then wash towel.

You can use the liquid for several batches - two to three days. Anything after that is a little iffy. Just reheat and use. Sometimes I will throw in a fresh tea bag. I use tea bags and the coffee pods because it is so much cleaner. Loose tea or coffee is a pain to clean up and get off your fabric. I am into the no muss.


Bea said...

I hadn't seen that Folgers French Vanilla before. Probably haven't looked but it sounds like a nice holiday treat. Lots of good information, thanks. :)Bea

Terri Kahrs said...

I hadn't seen this particular kind of coffee either! And I love that you leave things soaking for as long as you do. That explains the rich, dark, luscious colors. Great tutorial, Elizabeth! Thanks so much for sharing. More Hugs, Teri xoxo

Jan said...

Thank you again for sharing and for the tutorial. I too love the sound of the vanilla coffee.... I dont think we have it here.
Love your journal covers too. Great idea for using up scrap material.
BTW thank you also for the angel freebies. I have used one as my christmas greeting to everyone on my blog.
Best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the new year

Gaby Bee said...

Wanted to send along some wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Big hugs,

Jann said...

I will have to try this method--thanks so much for sharing--it looks like fun!