Tea-Dyed Mystery Project

My next project must remain a mystery so that it will duly surprise the giftee.  However, I can share some of the preparatory steps in very general terms.

I have purchased half the fabric I’ll need, and, being in a very small town with no fabric shops, I bought it on the Web from these nice folks.  The rest of the fabric needs to come from my stash.  But I don’t have the right stuff.  So I decided to experiment with this minty-fresh 100% cotton scrap that in no way matches or coordinates with the purchased fabric.minty-fresh1I originally bought the fabric to make scrub pants for a scrub top made from this print. 


Notice the motifs:  sight-seeing venues from around the world.  The scrubs were a Christmas gift for a daughter in nursing school.  She spent last June in Italy, and when I saw the Roman Coliseum in this print, I knew it was for her!  (The fabric is from a line called “Journeys” manufactured by this Mississippi-based company.)


So the minty-fresh fabric was a nice match–but I have no further need for something quite so, um, minty fresh.

In fact, my next project requires rather subdued colors, and I thought that tea-dying some of my stash might produce the effect I need. 

This is how I tea-dyed my minty-fresh fabric:  I placed ten regular-sized tea bags in a large stock pot about 1/3 full of water, boiled it for a few minutes and let it steep until the color was quite dark.  I removed the tea bags while the water was still hot and placed the minty-fresh fabric in, submerging it completely and swishing it around until I liked the color.  (The scraps probably equaled 3/4 of a yard.  For more fabric, more liquid would be required and possibly more tea bags.)

I squeezed some of the liquid out of the fabric and dumped it in the washing machine for a cold rinse and a spin.  Then I dried it on “hot – cotton” until dry to set the color.  Here it is, fresh out of the dryer (i.e., unironed):


Now I have this lovely subdued sage in place of the minty fresh.  And it goes very nicely with my purchased fabrics.

Experiment:  successful!

Explore posts in the same categories: fabric, sewing


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