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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Military_Mom
Date: 05-31-2005, 08:41 PM (1 of 12)
Just there a 'formula' for making tea to stain fabric? How long to leave it in the water, and how to set the color? I have a white cotton/ poly apron that I wanted to try to tea stain. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

User: Military_Mom
Member since: 01-10-2005
Total posts: 109
From: carman
Date: 05-31-2005, 09:30 PM (2 of 12)
i think it is just the longer you leave it in the darker it gets :re: i could be wrong though :bolt: lot off tea bags too and what ever strenght suits your fancy is what i remember
User: carman
Member since: 04-17-2000
Total posts: 692
From: Chrysantha
Date: 05-31-2005, 09:48 PM (3 of 12)
Yep the darker the tea the darker the stain...the dryer should set it...
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: SummersEchos
Date: 05-31-2005, 10:06 PM (4 of 12)
For 4 quarts of water use about 8 cups worth of tea bags. Tea bags come in 2 cups or 1 cup sizes. Place in large pot bring to a rolling boli. Turn off remove tea bags. Get your fabric wet with plain water first, gently wring out excess water. Dip fabric in tea solution and stir with wooden spoon NOT METAL. Let it soak for as long as you like to get the darkness you want. Remove from water and rinse with warm water, wash gentley with a mild detergent by hand. Rinse well dry and use.
If you do not wash it afterwards in time the fabric can weaken due to the acid in the tea. I guess it all depends on how long you want to have this?
If for some reason it is to dark, you can add a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of hot water to remove a little of the dye.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 06-01-2005, 11:52 AM (5 of 12)
Do not boil the teabags.. Add boiling water to container with teabags in it..Cover container and steep for at least 15 minutes.. This is the way to get the strongest color you want, and not risk any split bags and loose tea leaves in your dye solution.. If over time, your color fades, you can always repeat the process..I matched a Ring bearers white shirt to a Bride's Champagne wedding gown this way once.. Worked great.. :love:PS.. remember the color will show up a little darker when it is wet...
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: Bama
Date: 06-01-2005, 12:32 PM (6 of 12)
I just wanted to add... you can also use tan colored Rit dye for a tea stained look. I over-dyed some fabric with it and it turned out just like tea dyed fabric. You can adjust the amount of dye for the darkness you want.
I think it's supposed to be better for the fabric too.
User: Bama
Member since: 03-21-2000
Total posts: 2116
From: Military_Mom
Date: 06-01-2005, 02:32 PM (7 of 12)
Thanks so much! I'll give it a try!

User: Military_Mom
Member since: 01-10-2005
Total posts: 109
From: mamahoogie
Date: 06-01-2005, 03:47 PM (8 of 12)
Just adding my two cents worth here - make sure you follow SummerEcho's instruction of wetting your cloth first. I made the mistake of just putting a sweat shirt in dry and it did not dye evenly...actually it looked dirty in spots. As soon as I pulled it out I realized that I had missed that step so it is an important one. I was also told to add a bit of vinegar to the rinse water to set the dye even more.
I've decided to live forever - so far, so good.
User: mamahoogie
Member since: 12-25-2002
Total posts: 461
From: misskel
Date: 07-12-2007, 01:40 PM (9 of 12)
Is it possible to tea stain a black and white fabric without altering the black? I would like the whited to be a cream to tan color.
Thank you
User: misskel
Member since: 07-12-2007
Total posts: 2
From: DorothyL
Date: 07-12-2007, 10:20 PM (10 of 12)
Test it on scrap.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: material_pakrat
Date: 07-12-2007, 10:39 PM (11 of 12)
All of the above ways will tea-stain, and you just have to alter the amount of bags for the colour. The main thing to work out first is what kind of finish you are after. If you want an even colour, you are best to dry it in the dryer, or on the line. But if you are after the blotchy/ lined prim look, you need to scrunch the material when it is drying, and preferably put it flat (but scrunched) in front of a heater to dry. The darker colour will end upon the creased area and the underneath part.

Misskel - You would be able to dye the striped material, but you might find that the black comes out a bit "antiqued" or a bit duller than you would like.
Cheers, Soph.

I'm happiest when I am sewing!
User: material_pakrat
Member since: 12-13-2006
Total posts: 220
From: misskel
Date: 07-14-2007, 12:43 AM (12 of 12)
Thank you Material Pacrat, that's what I was thinking would happen and I suppose that's not a bad thing.
User: misskel
Member since: 07-12-2007
Total posts: 2
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