Introduction of Tea Dyeing | Dyeing Mechanism of Tea Dye/Tea Dyeing Procedure

Tea Dyeing
Tea dyeing is an easy way to mute fabrics or give them an older, antiqued look or even to give it a sun-bronzed Caucasian complexion. Tea will stain the fibres, giving them an irregular stain over the whole piece, rather than an even colour. Tea produces a tan colour to your fabric.

  1. Cotton fabric or items made from cotton, linen, silk. 
  2. Tea bags or loose black tea 
  3. Hot /boiling water  
  4. Containers to hold the tea bath
Approx 1 pint of boiling water to 6 tea bags or 8 ounces of loose black tea to half metre fabric

Dyeing Mechanism of Tea Dye/ Tea Dyeing Procedure:

1. Bring water to the boil and add your tea bags. Allow to ‘steep’ for 5-10 minutes. 

2. Remove/Squeeze out the teabags if you wish, as if you leave them in they could disintegrate and spot the fabric with tea leaves. 

3. Soak the fabric in this tea-stew for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the shade required. Wet fabric always looks darker than dry. 

4. Stir the fabric to reduce any blotchy effect as it rises above the surface of the tea mixture. (NB:
the more fabric you use the more water you’ll need to cover it and the lighter the final colour will appear, unless your dye solution is strong.

5.Give the cloth a light rinse and allow to dry. You will loose a lot of the colour doing this, so if it
isn't dark enough, soak it in the dye bath for longer. (If you prefer to tumble dry, always wipe out the drum of your machine afterwards with a damp cloth).

If you have dyed some fabric and then decide you don't like it, rinse it in the washing machine with
a little bleach. Also if the colour is too dark when dry, wash with a very small amount of bleach (1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water). This will lighten your fabric slightly. Repeat this process if the colour is still too dark.

Do this on fabrics that are safe for bleach only. Most cotton deteriorates with time and bleach is very harsh on older fabrics, so make sure that the older items you treat can handle the bleaching process.
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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