January 18, 2012

DIY Tea Dye For

Heh! Yeah, I came up with the name all by myself. Anyway! I decided to try to warm up some old tired white shirts by dying them in tea and thought I'd bring my blogarific friends along for the ride. By the way, this ride ends in two fails and a win. Let's do it!

To dye something with tea (a natural fiber or it doesn't want to stick) you'll need:
• about 10 bags of tea for every meter of fabric you're dying (this is what worked for me)
• pot big enough for your garments to be covered by the water or steel sink

These are the garments I wanted to warm-up. They're older, tired, and while they don't have "pit stains" they won't get completely white anymore. Because they were on the verge of being tossed anyway, I thought I'd try dying them first. Why not?

Steep your tea until the water is very very very dark.

Then, take out your tea bags! I didn't, and it's a mistake.

Pop in your dyeable wears and stir every half hour for as long as you want to dye your fabrics. Remember that your fabric will be end up lighter once you hand wash it in cold water after the dying and it will be even lighter once it dries. I wanted mine to get as dark as possible, so I left them in over night.

Here are the fails. Leaving the tea bags in was a bad idea! It causes an uneven dye job. Also, whatever causes discoloration apparently attracts tons of dye! Where there was no discoloration before there is a huge amount now. These shirts live at the dump now. Bye bye!

Here's the one win. This process worked much better with a pattern. Lessons learned!

At least one worked!

Tomorrow's post: Another travel bag makeover.

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  1. Thanks so much for the tips! I'm thinking about trying this with some white canvas shoes!

    1. Remember, if you don't want the rubber to be colored (if it's now white), which could happen if you dunk them it, you could also paint on the tea in the areas you want to dye. Layer, layer, layer. Thanks for stopping! :)