How to Dye Wool With Tea

Written by sarah emerald
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How to Dye Wool With Tea
You can use the same tea you drink for dyeing wool. (Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Use your favourite tea for a different purpose -- dyeing wool yarn, fabric or roving. Any animal fibre can be dyed with tea, including wool, mohair, alpaca and llama. Tea dyeing adds a warm tan tint to the finished wool and can give a patina of age to a finished item or component. Allow about an hour to dye your wool, then a day or two of drying time before using the wool.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wool fabric, yarn or roving
  • 5 tea bags, black tea
  • Large pan
  • Wooden spoon

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  1. 1

    Fill the pan with water and place it on the stove. Bring it to a boil.

  2. 2

    Tie the strings of the teabags together for easy retrieval. Drop the bags into the water. Turn off the heat and let the tea soak for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Lift the teabags out with the spoon and discard them.

  4. 4

    Place the wool into the tea and press it with the spoon to submerge it. Do not stir; stirring or agitating in any way could cause the wool to felt and permanently bind together.

  5. 5

    Soak the wool for three hours. Drain the pan into the sink.

  6. 6

    Fill the pan with room temperature water and soak for five minutes. Pour it into the colander and allow the wool to drain.

  7. 7

    Remove the wool and spread it on a clean towel to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Leave the wool soaking for a longer time period if you desire a deeper colour.
  • Spread the wool out on a porch or patio to dry in good weather.
  • Don't use green or white tea; they will not work for dyeing wool.
  • Don't agitate or stir; this will cause the wool to felt.

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