One thing I have really enjoyed learning in recent months is tea dying. It is really simple, easy, and gives a gorgeous antique look to fabric. I have used it on wedding dresses to match different types of lace, and I am currently using it to create a baby blessing dress with a slightly antiqued look.
There is no set amount of tea to use, or amount of time the fabric should be left in the water, it really just depends on the brand of tea (some are more reddish undertones, some are more yellow), the amount of time you let it steep in the water, and how dark you would like your fabric to be.
It works best with cotton, but I have experimented with lots of fabrics and laces and had a lot of success, as long as I use a bit to test how dark it gets first so I can adjust.
I typically dye with the water still Very hot, and that seems to work the best for colorfastness.
You Will Need:
-A large pot of water
-Black tea packets
-Fabric or lace
-A second pot or bucket of cold water, or a sink to rinse in
First boil the water and get things ready to go. I had a large pot so I decided on 3 tea bags, which I steeped between 5 and 7 minutes.
Once I was done steeping i took out the tea bags and put my fabric in one piece at a time using the tongs.
Since I wanted a just off-white antiqued look I only left the fabric in for about 15 seconds, then I took it out and rinsed it in cold water to get all the excess color out. (If you want it to get completely brown then leave it in the tea much longer, and you can use more tea bags)
After I was done with all that I set out a clothesline to let the fabric air dry.
That’s it! All there is to it, took me about 15 minutes start to finish.