Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dyeing Your Aida With Tea

    I was rummaging around in one of my stash drawer when I found a neglected piece of used-to-be-white Aida.  I picked it up at the Cancer Society Thrift Store a couple of years ago and realized when I unrolled it that it had some staining on the part that had been on the outside of the roll.  And there it stayed collecting dust.  
    That is until I remembered it could be dyed.  It took me until today to think of dyeing it, duh!  So, I grabbed it and four Bigelow green tea bags--we've had these in the cupboard forever so I don't think anyone was going to drink them. If you want to make the tea stronger for a darker dye, just use another bag or two.

Just bring the tea to a boil then remove it from the heat.

    Immerse your fabric in the tea using tongs, or whatever implement is handy.  Remember to stir it around and turn the fabric over a few times during soaking for even dyeing.  Leave it in the tea until you are happy with the color of the fabric, but keep in mind that it will lighten a couple shades when it dries.

    Keep your tea until you've washed the fabric to make sure your Aida is dark enough.  Fill your sink with a few inches of warm water, you just need enough to fully submerge your fabric, and add a little laundry soap. Carefully, remove your fabric from the tea, mine was cool enough to gently wring it out before I put it in the soapy water.  Work all the tea out of the fabric, rinsing a few times to get it all out.  If it isn't yet the shade you would like, soak it in the tea a bit longer.  Finish my rinsing the soap out of the fabric and wringing lightly.

    At this point you have a few options you can lie your Aida flat on a towel to dry, put it in the dryer on the "fluff" setting, or use your iron, set on low, to dry it.  I iron dried it because I was feeling particularly impatient, and it helped get most of the wrinkles smoothed out. 

    I was having a really hard time getting the peachy color to show up in the photos.  The final color is most like the photo of the wet cloth with some faint marbling.  

    I have a few small projects in mind for this fabric all ready, can't wait to get started.  I would like to try some other methods of coloring fabric still, so maybe in the future there will be some other cloth-related tutorials.

Happy stitching!

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