Jun 19, 2012

how to tea stain fabric

i finally got around to tea-staining my holli zollinger fabric.
i had holli customize her "diamond circles" fabric to orange for grady's room. when the fabric arrived, it was a tiny bit "brighter" than i wanted, so i decided to tea stain it.
fast forward a few months...i finally got around to doing it!
it was actually a very easy process:

1. bring water to a boil.
i just filled up my largest pot.

2. put in your tea.
i used a generic iced tea bags, and put in one bag for every 2 cups of water. that might have been a little much, but i wanted fast results!

3. wait a few minutes for the tea to steep, then remove the bags, and put your fabric in.

4. let it sit in the tea water for **desired amount of time, then remove.
 i wanted to do several test strips before i soaked the entire piece of fabric, so while my water was boiling, i cut about 10 strips of fabric. i put all of the strips in at once, and then every 2 minutes, i took one out, and set it out to dry on some foil.
here are the results:
**here is a picture of the different strips and the time that each one was in the tea water:
(original fabric, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 6 minutes)

i thought that the fabric that was in for 2 or 4 minutes was a little light, but honestly could tell very little difference between the fabric that was soaked for 6 minutes and the fabric that was soaked for 30 minutes!  i think most of the staining action happens very quickly.
below is the original fabric, along with one that was soaked for 4 minutes and another that was soaked for 15...

5.wash the fabric.
i washed my fabric on the light soil cycle on my washing machine, and took it out to air-dry.

i was pleased with the results. i got exactly what i wanted--a slightly less vivid
i sent the tea stained fabric off to my seamstress, and will have the pillow back in the next few days.