How to Tea-Dye (Step-by-step Instructions for Dying Fabric Using Tea)

Picture of How to Tea-Dye (Step-by-step Instructions for Dying Fabric Using Tea)
These step-by-step instructions will guide you smoothly through the process of dying your fabric using tea. No experience necessary!
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Step 1: Supplies needed

Supplies needed:
1. White, cotton-based fabric (i.e. sheet, t-shirt, pillowcase)
2. Bags of black tea (number of bags depends on fabric size and color desired)
3. A clean tub (heatproof; either metal or steel), or sink with a stopper
 (Note: we will refer to this as “tub-1,” used to hold hot water )
4. A second clean tub (either metal or plastic)
 (Note: we will refer to this as “tub-2,” used to hold cold water)
5. 1-3 pots (large and clean)
6. Water
7. Stove
8. Tongs
9. Wooden spoon (or other stirring utensil)
10. Clothespins (optional)
11. Trash can

Step 2:

These step-by-step instructions are divided into 4 major parts: PREP (steps take place near/on stove), TUB-1 (takes place in tub-1), TUB-2 (takes place in tub-2), and DRY (takes place anywhere).

Step 3: PREP

1. Gather all supplies. Be sure that your workplace is clean (to keep your fabric and water clean).

Step 4:

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2. Begin boiling water in a pot on the stove. Use as many pots as necessary to boil enough water for use in step 3; you will soon need to fill your tub-1 (metal tub or sink). 

Step 5: TUB-1 (heatproof tub or sink)

Picture of TUB-1 (heatproof tub or sink)
3. When your water begins to boil, carefully pour this water into tub-1. Keep adding boiling water to tub-1 until it has enough water to completely cover your fabric.
a. Warning: The water is scalding hot. Do not do not overfill your tub-1. 

Step 6:

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4. Check your tea bags to make sure they are not leaking leafy-bits. These bits can ruin your fabric.
a. Note: The amount of bags you use depends on the darkness of the color you desire. More bags = darker color; less bags = lighter color.

Step 7:

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5. Drop tea bags into the boiling water in tub-1 to steep for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until your water is entirely dark brown.

Step 8:

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6. Carefully remove tea-bags from tub-1 using tongs.
Ushashi7 months ago

Oh no! The first pic has vanished in the time it took me to type my last comment! I miss it. It's text could have the following added: "Keep these instructions handy in the location of your stove, so you can check back on the details without having to rely on memory, or print on paper." Reading from a lap top is relevant for safety and success of accomplishing so many steps.

Ushashi7 months ago

I loved the first pic! it made me grin.

It is an illustration of the first step - "These step-by-step instructions will guide you" I took the photo to be an iIllustration of reading the instructions (no need to print out onto paper). Nope, the dyed fabric doesn't smell of tea. And I agree, "it ain't right" to use up your delicious tea making something brown, only to then pour all that life-sustaining brew down the sink! But who wants to drink old tea-shirt flavour?

Does it smell of tea?
Kiteman3 years ago
You should use a photo of the tied fabric as your introduction image - typing at a laptop isn't really relevant ...
lemonie Kiteman3 years ago

It ain't right.