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Tea Dying #196670 06/14/05 11:42 PM
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Can anyone tell me how to tea dye lace curtains?

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Re: Tea Dying #196671 06/15/05 02:33 AM
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~ Rae ~ Offline
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I was a costume major in college and we did some tea dyeing.

The main trick is to have a container large enough to hold the fabric without too much crowding, which can cause uneven spots on the material. A bathtub works for this.

Basically, you brew a black tea and dunk the fabric into it, let it soak for a few hours then let it dry. Iron to set then wash to see what you got. Controlling how dark is entirely hit and miss. It's best to have it come out too light and have to brew a second batch and dye it again.

Re: Tea Dying #196672 06/16/05 01:02 PM
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How does the tea affect the tub? Will it stain that also?

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Re: Tea Dying #196673 06/16/05 03:02 PM
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Well, that's gonna depend on the age and inner surface of your tub. I used to dye my hair hot pink, and that was all hell on a tub compared to tea. Bathtubs can be washed with cleanser and bleach, which removes most staining, but as with all dyeing, YMMV.

If you can find some sort of cooking pot that is large enough for your curtains, you can do it as a stovetop dye, but almost universally, curtains are too big for that.

If the fabric is too crowded when dyeing, you will wind up with a subtle crinkle pattern throughout, as the folds resist the dye. Done purposely, this is a way of adding visual texture, but most people want even dyeing.

Re: Tea Dying #196674 06/17/05 12:31 PM
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Have you ever heard of doing this in the washer?


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Re: Tea Dying #196675 07/01/05 06:54 PM
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C Lewis Offline
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I've tea dyed several small pieces and love the look. Rae is definitely right about getting it too light rather than too dark the first time around. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> umm.. been there and done that, wasn't any fun


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Re: Tea Dying #196676 07/08/05 06:16 AM
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Tea dyeing in a washer can be difficult. The closed nature of the washer makes the tea brewing hard to do and see what shade you have going. If you don't have a washer at home where you can set back the cycle so that it doesn't end, you won't be able to soak the fabric long enough. Also, the agitator is great for crowding or bundling the fabric which leads to those crinkles I mentioned earlier.

Re: Tea Dying #196677 07/08/05 10:04 PM
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hey Rae, I've got a slipcover that is cranberry red and blue large plaid print on a white background. I was hopeful that the background would be more ivory or beige than white. I love it other than that. I was thinking about trying a light tea dye to darken up the white. I'm just concerned about how much it might change the cranberry red or the blue. What do you think?


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Re: Tea Dying #196678 08/19/05 09:51 PM
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Any form of "overdyeing" is going to effect all the colors involved. The red and blue won't be changed as much but they will get darker or richer with a tea dye bath.

Also, this will only work if the fiber is a natural one. Tea dyeing will do nothing on synthetics.

My mother once famously tried to overdye a plaid sofa cover, not realizing she had a cotton/poly blend. I was away at college. My younger sister called me first, to give me a head's up that Mom was proabably going to call, that the couch amazingly wound up even uglier than before, and she couldn't believe our mom didn't call me before experimenting. My sister and I both did a stint of owning the uber-ugly couch for a few years after Mom finally was sick of it... LOL....


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