How to dye with tea

Tea dyed scarf

I mentioned that I had made a scarf out of an old sheet and some tea. You can see it on the right of the picture. Tea gives the most amazing neutral colour. I was happy to tie dye the scarf but I’m not sure you would get even and consistent colour if you didn’t want a tie dye effect.

The scarf is made from a big strip of an old cotton sheet. I grabbed random bunches of the sheet/scarf and tied a rubber band tightly around the bunches. Then I boiled up a few tea bags in a big pot until it was well brewed. I added salt and let the sheet/scarf stand in the tea for about 30 minutes.

I took the fabric out and let it dry before I removed the rubber bands. The rubber bands weren’t tied tightly enough and the tea was a bit more even coloured that I hoped. So I took a dropper and sprinkled bleach or Javel water over the scarf to get the light coloured patches.

Tea dye and bleach effect up close

I was much happier with the final result. Lastly I gave the scarf a good wash to remove the tea and the bleach. And it is good to wear. You could use this reverse tie dye effect on just about anything. Some jeans, a shirt maybe? I might take some coloured fabric and see what happens with a splattering of bleach for another scarf.

The green scarf to the left of the picture I made in a previous post. Load up this link for the instructions – how to make a tie dye scarf.

Burda did a feature on other ways to dye fabric naturally. You might want to experiment with onion skins or berries. Read more on this link – eco friendly dyeing.

I’ve put together an archive of the better tutorials which you can find in the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page. My purpose has always been to DIY and not buy, so it’s a mix of sewing, crochet, jewlery making and whatever.

More next week.