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Thread: Question about tea dying

  1. #1
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    I have some lovely bright fabric that I would like to tone down a bit. Thought maybe tea dying might work. My question is, will the tea be permanent? I wouldn't want to use it and have it wash out. I'm sure there are many here who have experience with this. Would like your opinions please. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Any I've ever done is permenant, just don't use bleach on it.

  3. #3
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I toned down the color of several quilts with Rit Tan fabric dye in my washing machine. They looked better and the dye doesn't wash out.

  4. #4
    Suzan Larrimore's Avatar
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    I'm not sure but the acids in the tea may damage the fibers in the cotton fabric. I think I may have seen another thread on this a short while ago.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    You can also use coffee. I've done that. has worked well.

  6. #6
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I tea dyed a bright light blue skirt that I wanted to use for Faire costuming and it has worked just fine. I used several family sized tea bags and a large plastic bowl/canister and let it set for several hours. When I've washed it I just put it in with my darks (blue jeans, dark blue towels, etc.) and used cold water.

  7. #7
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    it may over time...and many many washings fade some...but the color will last. people have been tea-dyeing fabrics for a hundred years (&longer) it is as safe as any other natural dye. and if you harvest your own teas to use you can come up with many different shades of greens, yellows and browns... after soaking your fabric in the strong tea solution (i usually leave mine for at least 24 hours...i simply rinse it once in cold water...then partially dry the fabric and heat set/finish drying with my iron...then i throw it into the wash and launder as usual. the color lasts and lasts but i have had a couple lighten a little. make sure you use either PFD fabric or pre=wash your fabric to remove any sizing/oils that will keep your (dye) from soaking into the fibers.

  8. #8
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the replys. I think I will use some scraps and give the dying a try. Will compare the coffee and tee. You folks are great!

  9. #9
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    Good idea. Post the results if you would. I'm curious, I've never attempted tea dying but love the coloring it gives off.

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I usually give it a rinse in baking soda water, I heard it helps neutralize the acids in the tea/coffee :D:D:D

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