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How to Dye Wool With Tea

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

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.

Lift the teabags out with the spoon and discard them.

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.

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

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

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

Tip

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.

Warning

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.

Things You'll Need

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

Sarah Emerald is the author of books and magazine articles specializing in crafts, family, business and the home, including Create and Decorate, Hilton Head Monthly and Crafts magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from a small private college in the southeastern U.S.