Monday, April 8, 2013

Have you ever...?

I have been working on a big project for over a month now. I'm so excited about it. As part of the bigger project, I am making some pillows. I wanted them to look older and a bit darker. I decided to tea-dye them.

Have you ever tea-dyed something? I hadn't but figured I could do it without much trouble. I didn't even research it on the all-knowing internet. I just jumped right in. Seriously, it's not rocket science.

First, I had to choose the fabric. I started with a recent auction find- an old flour sack. It was incredibly heavy. I washed it to make sure I was beginning with a clean piece of cloth. Then, I cut it into three equal pieces, for the three pillows I was planning. The smaller size made it much easier to handle in the staining process.

Next, I got out my largest mixing/ measuring bowl. I filled it with hot water and four or five family size tea bags. I stuck it in the microwave for five minutes. I slowly dunked one of the fabric pieces into the tea. I pulled it up once or twice to make sure all of it was getting soaked. Finally, I pushed it all under the tea and held it down with another glass measuring cup. Anything heavy would do, though.

This photo is of another fabric with which I worked.

After the desired darkness was achieved, I removed the fabric and removed as much tea as I could by wringing it out. I let it air dry. This was the result.

If you look at the next photo, you can see the difference between the colors of the un-dyed and dyed pieces. It's subtle and doesn't show well in the picture. The result was a piece of fabric that looked quite aged and slightly stained from use. The dyeing wasn't uniform. Some areas were more stained-looking than others.

Here is the first pillow I made with the tea-dyed fabric. Here you can the variations a bit better.


  1. Looks like my complexion in my old age ;-)

    My mother once tea dyed some curtain fabric to get the right color of beige for her living room sheers. As I remember, they turned out quite beautiful.

    1. I can only hope to look as good as you when I reach your age! And maybe get a quarter of the work done that you do.