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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Tea dying fabric

    I want to do a pattern that calls for eight shades of solid yellow. I only have four shades. I am considering tea dying the existing four shades to get eight shades. Any thoughts on tea dying? Does the smell go away if I wash the fabric? Will it attract bugs? Is the coloring permanent or will it go back to its original color after repeated washings?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    I have never done this. But I put on my detective hat and pulled up another forum that I rarely look at but the only one similar to this one that I know of. It is called the Quilting Board. ( https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...e-t232016.html). I put "tea dying" in the search box. I did not read every answer but after reading 5-6 it sounds like ppl that have done this say the color is only temporary and fabric returns to the original color after a few washings. You might read some more of the comments posted there and see if any alternative suggestions are made. Sorry, I don't think this was the answer you were hoping for!
    Last edited by jjkaiser; June 8th, 2018 at 06:13 PM.

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  4. #3
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    i would suggest using liquid RIT dye for dying your fabrics...this process is permanent and very easy to do....let me know if you use this process and can help you achieve it...
    Priscilla Lujan
    Los Angeles, CA

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  6. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    None of the natural dyes which tea would be one are totally colorfast they will fade out over time although due to the tannin in tea some remains. (You need a strong tea but also coffee can be used) Usually if you add mortants to the dye color it will shift the color and it's also a fixative although they will eventually fade too. Historical mortants are: alum, tin, copper, chrome, iron. Alum which you can get in the grocery store or pharmacy gives as close to the natural color as possible, copper shifts to a more greenish tone, iron will "grey" out the color a bit and chrome which is not recommended will shift toward more goldish, tin brightens. Vinegar is also a natural mortant and will shift colors. General instructions can be found here: http://tygartlakefiberarts.com/wp/?p=114 A lot of your summer flowers will give yellows, i.e. marigolds, goldenrod. Nuts will give various browns but use gloves, they stain. When dyeing with fabrics make sure that any fabric finishes are washed out, synthrapol is good for that.

    Women are Angels.
    When someone
    break's our wings
    we will continue to
    fly...usually on a
    broomstick.
    We're flexible like that.
    - embroitique

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  8. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    Thanks for the input. Looks like a definite no to tea dying.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  9. #6
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    Have just stumbled onto this link below, has some interesting info regarding natural dyes.
    https://theecologist.org/2010/jan/26...atural-methods.

  10. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    Treadler, re the madder root. The red is released at approx 142 degrees. If you want red don't go over that temperature or the browns are released. Also the red you get is more of a Chinese red. It's beautiful though. It's considered one of the "historical" natural dyes, as is logwood (purple) (no not any old log), cochineal (red with tin mordant) (actually an insect), cutch (brown), to a certain extent butternut hulls (think Davy Crockett's outfit), sandlewood (I forget but I think a pinkish tan), woad and indigo (blues) (a vat dye). I can't recall right now what the yellow historical dye was at the moment. Green's were generally a yellow overdyed with indigo, the purples and reds were also combined for other shades.

    Women are Angels.
    When someone
    break's our wings
    we will continue to
    fly...usually on a
    broomstick.
    We're flexible like that.
    - embroitique

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  12. #8
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    thank you so much for taking time to write this info, have learnt so much today many thanks

  13. #9
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    This response might be too late but I have used the tea dying & coffee dying methods on 100% cotton without any issues. The only prep to the fabric was prewashing. I did leave the fabric in the solution for a long period (over dying) then after rinsing, it did lighten the color somewhat. I also ironed the dyed fabric to set the staining. I have washed items often and the staining remained.

    I have also used walnut stain (which I prefer). I spray the stain until I get the results I wish and it is permanent. When I purchased the mixture, it was called antiquing stain. I've also made a walnut stain from ripened, black walnut shells (nasty smell when steeping). I did find a link to another brand in case this is something you would like to try in future projects: http://stores.auntiejusquiltshoppe.c...ging-solution/

    To the dismay of some, I have stained quilts to get the "old, used, faded" look. Makes me happy.

  14. #10
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Tea dying fabric

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird View Post
    This response might be too late but I have used the tea dying & coffee dying methods on 100% cotton without any issues. The only prep to the fabric was prewashing. I did leave the fabric in the solution for a long period (over dying) then after rinsing, it did lighten the color somewhat. I also ironed the dyed fabric to set the staining. I have washed items often and the staining remained.

    I have also used walnut stain (which I prefer). I spray the stain until I get the results I wish and it is permanent. When I purchased the mixture, it was called antiquing stain. I've also made a walnut stain from ripened, black walnut shells (nasty smell when steeping). I did find a link to another brand in case this is something you would like to try in future projects: http://stores.auntiejusquiltshoppe.c...ging-solution/

    To the dismay of some, I have stained quilts to get the "old, used, faded" look. Makes me happy.
    Same here. I have tea dyed fabric in quilts I make 25 years ago and they haven't faded or been eaten by bugs. For shades of yellow I use onion skins. They make a beautiful yellow and it doesn't fade either. I also over dye with tea if I don't like the look of the quilt.




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