~Tea staining is a fun, non toxic, cheap, and easy way to dye fabric and paper. I have actually been tea staining paper since I took my first printmaking class many years ago. I just recently decided to try tea staining fabric,
with very pleasant results. I think it is best to do small batches; like I did one sweater in one 5 quart container.
(the onesieI link to was done in half as much water and used half the tea)
Materials for Tea staining
8 family size black tea bags( cheap ones)
5 quart pot
Tea Staining Process
1. prep garment or fabric . Clean your garment and remove any buttons if need be.
2.Make your Tea bath. Bring H2O to a boil. Steep tea for at least 30 min up to 1 hour. A longer steep gives you a darker stain. remove tea bags.
3. Stain your fabric.Put fabric in pot using tongs agitate fabric making sure it is soaking evenly. I soaked mine for 2-3 hours checking on it every so often and moving it about with the tongs. If you are having trouble keeping your garment submerged use a pot top that is smaller than your pot to weight it down.* be aware that tea staining is somewhat irratic and will create and uneven stain .. but that is part of the magic and part of what I love. You can see what I mean here in the back view of this sweater
4. Wash your fabric. I put mine in the wash alone without soap but on a warm cycle.
....and then I kept having fun
optional materials for embellishment
lace for collar
trim for front
eye hook closure
~Tea staining to me is whimsical in itself so when embellishing this sweater I decide to go for a romantic vintage look. I had this beautiful lace collar I took off an incredible dress that was gifted to me as scrap.
I was told the dress dates the very late 1890's. Since it was also a collar for the dress and I simply winged it sort of pinning it into place ruffling it here and there. I trimmed it in the back to fit the sweater and hid the trim in one of my rufflings. I hand stitched/tacked the collar in place. I was not worried about being to fussy because I wanted that romantical disheveled look for the sweater. I used new cotton lace trim in a very pale blue to cover the button holes and mirrored it on the button side; machine stitching them in place. I am not super thrilled with new lace trim and may change it out for some other more weathered trim. I did actually wear it on Saturday night with my new sea horse dress but more on tat one later...it is very romantical too