We all have napkins, tablecloths or linens that started out white and
ended up stained. One option is to tea dye the fabric! You can
any of the above with antique lace or new ivory colored lace.
can be turned into pillowcases, or smaller tablecloths for end tables,
dressers and other surfaces needing some accent. You can tea dye
patterned fabrics also to give them a vintage look.
By Brenda Hyde
It is recommended that you use a pan and utensil just for dying. You
can usually pick up an older pan, 16 quart works well, at a thrift store or
garage sale. I keep an old pan on hand for messy jobs.
Tea Dye Directions
You will need:
Stainless steel 16 quart pot
3 gallons tap water
1 yard cotton or linen fabric
8 ounces loose black tea
cheesecloth or muslin and kitchen string
Fill sink with cold water and soak your fabric completely.
Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil in your pan. Tie the tea
in a square piece of muslin (or cheesecloth) tightly
with kitchen string. Add to the boiling water and continue
to boil for at least 30 minutes. The longer you boil the
darker the dye; so go an hour if you can. Remove the
tea bag, and use strainer to grab bits of loose tea if necessary.
Wring out your wet fabric, and add to the pot of tea water.
Turn off the heat and allow it to steep for several hours
or overnight, stirring occasionally to dye evenly. Remember
when checking the color that it seems darker when wet.
When the fabric has reached the color you like, rinse it under
cold water until the water runs clear, then gently wash with
the mild detergent and rinse again. Wring out the fabric and
hang or place on an old clean towel to dry.
One caution, if you are using expensive fabric or something that
is dear to you, be sure to experiment with something else first!
You can also test a swatch of the fabric first before doing the