Sunday, June 17, 2012

The New Tea Dyed Fabric...

I decided to take pictures of the tea dyeing process so you could see how it turned out...and to maybe answer a few questions that have popped up in the comments.  First, a picture of my tools - a 24 quart pail (bought from the dollar store) and my broken yard stick used to stir the dye bath.




To mix the dyeing brew I use regular Lipton Tea.  


  • I filled the pail half full of hot water.  
  • Next, I filled two 2 gallon stockpots with water and placed them on the stove.  After the water reached a boil, I placed 20 packages of the tea in each pot and let them set for an hour.  
  • The very dark brew from each pot was then poured into the pail. 
  • The key here is to leave enough space for the fabric to get into the pail without overflowing AND to have a dark enough brew to get an effective dye coverage.



After submerging the fabric and swirling it around in the dye bath 
this was how it looked initially...



...and after a few hours...




I left the brew overnight and around noon removed it from the dye bath.  Here is how it looked when it first came out of the tea dye...




...then it was washed in the kitchen sink 
using cold water until the water ran clear.



Lastly it was placed in the dryer for 30 minutes on high.  
I added a white towel to catch any leftover dye water.




Fresh from the dryer it was ironed...




...and here is the finished product waiting to be cut out...




I will need to make a trip to Mood during the week to purchase some tan lining for the outfit but other than that it's dyed and waiting to be used.


I hope this step-by-step process will help you if you decide that you want to tea dye something...


...as always more later!






  





28 comments:

  1. Thank you for that. Do you think the dryer is essential to the process? I only ask as I don't have one, and wondered if the ironing would set the dye too...?

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  2. It looks so lovely :) I have vague memories of using a vinegar wash to set the dye (don't quote me; I'll have to find my notes) - have you had any problems with fading on your other tea-dyed projects?

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  3. Thanks for sharing the process . I've wondered how it is done for a while now.

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  4. Lovely! The tea dying brings out the lace detail even better.

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  5. Love it! The dress should be fantastic when you are done. I have only tea dyed once and it was for some renaissance costumes.

    P.S. I live in the Midwest and I am totally jealous that you can just go to Mood like I go to Jo-Ann's! :)

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  6. I've tea dyed lamp shades numerous times, but never tried dying fabric for a garment. Thanks for sharing

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  7. That's exactly what I want to do with some white lacey fabric, just to ease the colour back a bit :)

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  8. I love tea-dyeing. I first did it with a ruffled lace blouse in the 80's and have used it several times since. Your fabric is really lovely and I am looking forward to seeing it made up.

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  9. That's an interesting concept...never done it before. Nice work and thanks for sharing!

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  10. I didn't realize it would need so much time. It really did change it, looks nice.

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  11. The lace is beautiful! Can't wait to see the finished dress.

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  12. So pretty. We used to tea dye black and white photographs in photography class. It's such a lovely color.

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  13. Looks fantastic - much better than stark white. Can you wash it later with other clothes or does the tea run?

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  14. interesting, thank you! I have tea dyed little things but never a whole large piece of fabric, so it was interesting to see how you do that. The tea dye gives such a lovely soft result.

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  15. Thanks, I have pinned it for future reference. I have some white fabric that I will want to soften.

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  16. The task of dying fabric has always seemed a complicated one to me. You made it look so easy and I love your results. The fabric and color combo is going to make for a lovely garment:)

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  17. The newly dyed fabric look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the how to with us.

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  18. Thank you for this Carolyn. I've done small pieces before but after reading your How-to, I feel I could tackle a larger piece.

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  19. It has been a very long time since I've clicked on your blog and posted a comment. I talk about you all the time to my students saying you're a great person to follow and learn things. This was a great example!

    You are so special! Thank you for the years of giving to the online sewing world!

    One last thing, Dang girl you look good!!!! How much weight have you lost? I think I found it. LOL

    Enjoy all your sewing moments as you do. Hugs N Love!

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  20. Thank you for sharing your process. Your fabric came out beautiful.

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  21. I tried tea-dying some cotton lace in the 1980s. Modern detergents in modern washing machines are just too good! All the tea came out in the first wash. I have to say, though, that the fabric was even whiter than it started out in the store, before I washed it in preparation for the tea-dying ... Never went to that much trouble again. I'll just buy brown lace, if I want brown lace.

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  22. This color is really pretty and so is the fabric!! Thanks for the info.

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  23. Thanks for sharing the process. I like how this looks!

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  24. I did this years ago when I sewed for my children - I think it was a little quilted Christmas collar. The lace looks beautiful with its new look! Can't wait to see the finished product :)

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  25. Great information, thank you! I have contemplated tea-dying occasionally but always decided I didn't need it. Someday...

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  26. So pretty! I love how this looks!

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  27. This is lovely! (and a perfect use for the Lipton tea I bought by mistake - I'm a Brit and snobby about tea ;)

    How does it stand up to washing afterwards? Is it fairly colourfast?

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