dye white fabric a light tan color using tea

Technique Materials

white cotton fabric


tea bags

large pot

stove or other heat source

19 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Avatar_klein_large

    Sep 28, 2011, 05.23 PMby dimoni

    Tea-dyeing works wonderful with silk and wool as well. But be careful: the color did get much darker in my experiments with silk than with cotton.

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    Mar 11, 2011, 07.05 PMby Rikki Cade Battle

    iv been meaning to tea-dye some fabric for a wile now only i was put off as i didn’t know weather the colour would fade in the wash. im guessing this isn’t the case?

  • Missing

    Nov 15, 2010, 09.42 PMby goldy55

    Terrific idea….it also works with coffee in case you don’t have tea.

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    Aug 19, 2010, 04.42 PMby lala86

    Well, I tryed this technique but it didn’t came up as well as yours.. Te colour came up really lighter that what I thougut I would be… I added vinegar and salt as some people recomend to allow the colour penetrate the fabic fibers.. but… I don’t know what happened.. Maybe It wasn’t as cotton as I thought… I really like the result of your dying. Did the color wash over the following laundryes?

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    Apr 18, 2010, 10.05 AMby keren

    Great how to! Thanks! I like the fact that it’s organic :-) I must try it!!

  • Missing

    Aug 23, 2009, 04.29 PMby badkitty-1

    Great. I have used tea to “antique” fabric before. You can use onion skins too but it is a bit yellower depending on how much skin you use. Nettles give a nice green. x

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    Apr 28, 2009, 03.57 PMby kookiebertholda

    i like it!! thanks a lot… i was thinking if u do a clove and stick cinnamon tea… ull get a nice redish tone!!:.. so ill try that one too!!… if i get another tea colors ill tell u!!

    thanks for the idea!!!

  • Punknmum_large

    Dec 10, 2008, 10.29 PMby queenmab

    I too am dryer-less but I am thinking that, as washing with hot water generally sets stains, perhaps if I “boiled” the fabric a bit after the required dying time….?!

    I’ll let you know how I go… or if I start a fire…

  • 56939df4830e451656891a6813eb5f0384bdde54_large

    Nov 13, 2008, 04.46 AMby sugartime

    Oh, I have to try this!

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    Nov 10, 2008, 02.20 AMby lybu

    thanks a lot. what a great idea

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    Nov 4, 2008, 11.59 AMby prudencerabbit

    I’m not sure of a hair dryer would work, but it’s a good idea. Let me know how it works if you try it!

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    Nov 4, 2008, 03.36 AMby sunriseruby

    I love this how to! Il try it. But I don’t have a dryer, will it also work with hair dryer while it’s still damp?

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    Nov 1, 2008, 08.18 PMby pierrewolf

    I did this just the other day with rose-hip tea, gives a really nice pink tone.

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    Oct 31, 2008, 01.25 AMby missb-1

    A very cool how-to. I had no idea you could dye fabric with tea.

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    Oct 28, 2008, 12.37 PMby stelloun

    thank you very much for this how to, I love tea dyed stuff!! I ll try it soon

  • Avatar_sm_large

    Oct 27, 2008, 08.41 PMby prudencerabbit


    I used what I had on hand: some green tea, and some plain old Tetley tea.

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    Oct 27, 2008, 06.16 PMby hannahlee

    I love this! What “flavor” tea bags did you use??

  • Avatar_sm_large

    Oct 26, 2008, 05.26 PMby prudencerabbit

    That’s a good question. I’m not sure if ironing would set the color, but if you try it, I’d suggest ironing the fabric while it’s still damp.

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    Oct 25, 2008, 12.32 PMby polychromatin

    Thanks for this How-To! I didn’t knew that dying with tea is possible. I don’t have a dryer, will it also work with ironing after loft drying?

    • This is a question
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