Dye-ing for some tea…

This past weekend, my good friend Mackenzie and I decided to try our first hand at tea dyeing natural fibers (Remember! She has a column for Kraftworkin, Mackenzie Makes).

We scooped up some plain white cotton tshirts (two for her, one for me) and we took an old, ratty cotton twin bed sheet and cut it into strips for long cotton scarves.

Might I suggest scoring teas to dye with on the cheap at Trader Joe’s; we decided to mix it up a bit–buying a cranberry tea with real fruit and hibiscus and whatnot in it, thinking it would give a decidedly pinkish purple hue to our dyes, as well as a chamomile-peppermint for an antiqued lace look.

The “dye bowls” were pretty spectacular looking; the cranberry tea created this brilliant pinkish mauve hue, and as we let it steep longer, it took on a deep purple, nearly blackish gray feel.

The dyeing went easy; we had pinks, antiques, and the like. Then we rung them out and dried them to “set” the color. Oops…because they all came out the same grayish antique. Apparently the pinks and the yellows bled in the dryer and gray it was.

But the gray was pretty splendid nonetheless. The washed out gray looks used in a really delicate way; and the scarf being a grayish hue means it will go with a whole bunch more stuff.

I’ve already tried tea dyeing again–this time with pomegranate tea and just one half of a twin bed sheet to see if I can create a scarf that’s a purply color. It’s setting right now. Results soon.

As always, snaps of the tea dyeing at its Flickr set.

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