Friday, June 12, 2009

Tea Dye Fabric

I've been collecting 100% cotton shirts to make some scrap quilts ala Bonnie Hunter. I find that many of the white shirts are just too white, so I've been reading about tea dying and decided to give it a try. I dyed 3 shirts by letting each one rest in the tea for a different amount of time. You can see the results in the picture to the left. The shirt that I left in the tea for 3 hours turned out a dark tan. The middle fabric was in the tea for about a half hour, and it is a nice off white. The 3rd shirt was in the tea for about an hour, and it is a nice light tan. I am very happy with the results of my first experience with tea dying.

To make the dye, I boiled 2 quarts of water and put in 10 tea bags. I put one of the shirts in a dish pan and poured the hot tea solution, including the tea bags, over the shirt. I added a bit more water to make enough solution to completely cover the shirt. When the water cooled, I gently massaged the fabric to be sure that the solution was completely saturating the fabric. Then I just left the fabric in the solution until I liked the color.
When all three shirts were dyed, I put them in my washing machine and ran a small warm cycle to wash out any excess tea dye. Then I dried them in my electric clothes dryer.

No comments: