Tea dyeing is an old practice of adding a soft yellow or brown colour to a fabric by letting it soak in steeped tea. Tea dyeing creates the look of naturally aged fabric and can be used to give even brand-new fabric, lace or netting a vintage or antique look. This light wash of colour adds visual interest to any piece and gives a soft, beautiful finish to veils and other bridal accessories.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tea bags
- Large pot
- Swatches of test fabric
Boil water in the large pot. The pot should be large enough to submerge the veil completely without folding or bunching.
Add tea bags to the boiling water and let them steep until the tea has reached the colour you want for your dyeing project. Remove the tea bags and let the water cool.
Rinse the veil in clear water. This prevents the tea from adhering to the veil unevenly and leaving spots and blotches.
Dip the wet veil in the tea, making sure all parts are submerged. Leave the veil in the tea to soak until you achieve the desired colour.
Remove the veil once it has soaked and rinse in clear water.
Hang the veil to air dry. Hang the veil so it is not bunched or folded and allow it to air dry completely.
Tips and warnings
- Test the tea dye on small swatches of scrap material before dyeing your veil. This will help you determine what concentration of tea to use, how long to let the veil material soak and if it will damage the fabric. Follow the steps listed, making tea of different intensities and leaving the material to soak for varying time periods until you determine how to achieve the colour you want. Tea brewed for a shorter time will create lighter dye, and longer brewing times will create a darker colour.
- Natural fibres absorb tea dye more readily than artificial fibres.
- Different types of tea produce different colours and intensities.
- If you're looking for a natural, splotchy look, add the tea to the veil with a paintbrush.
- If the colour is not intense enough after your first dying, repeat the dyeing process. Repeated dyeing increases the chance of damage to the fabric, so always test before dyeing again.
- Tea dyeing cannot be undone. Be very careful and follow instructions when dying irreplaceable pieces.
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