Use brewed tea to soak fabric, or produce a marbled effect with wet tea bags.
To complete this project you will need:
- natural-fiber fabric
- brewed tea or wet tea bags
- small basin
- white paper towels
- white vinegar
- Brew the tea. I used Vanilla Chai tea (it smelled lovely, but I didn't care for the taste). Different types of teas will produce different colors, so you may want to try some test swatches of fabric before you commit.
- Dilute the tea with water as needed to completely submerge the fabric you are dyeing in the basin. (Instructions for the tea-bag dyeing process begin in step 6.)
- Dampen the fabric and completely submerge it in the tea solution. The longer you soak the fabric, the deeper the color will become. I soaked my fabric for an hour, checking it from time-to-time to see how the color was developing.
- After the fabric has reached the desired hue, remove it from the tea-solution and rinse it in a weak solution of vinegar and water to help set the dye.
- Dry the fabric flat on a pad of white paper towels. Iron it before it is completely dry to remove wrinkles.
- If you are using wet tea bags to change the color of your Cross Stitch fabric, then begin by soaking the bags or use previously brewed tea bags. I used six small tea bags for my project.
- Protect your working surface with cardboard or wax paper, if needed. Make a pad of white paper towels. Dampen the fabric and lay it flat on the pad of paper towels.
- Press the cooled tea bags in a random manner across the fabric. I used several tea bags, but you could also soak the bag between pressings to add more liquid.
- Once you have created the marbled look you want, rinse the fabric in a weak vinegar solution to help set the dye.
- Dry the fabric flat on a clean pad of white paper towels. If wrinkled, iron before completely dry.
- Once your fabric has dried, it is ready for your stitching project!