diy: tea dyed floral shirt

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

Next time you’re brewing a cuppa, why not brew a little extra and use it to give a subtle vintage twist to a “too bright” shirt. I say too bright, in my case I mean too white. White simply doesn’t suit my skin tone. Bright, is not a feature in my colour palette either. BUT I really loved this top that I thrifted earlier this week. So I bought the cheapest jumbo box of teabags I could find and set to work. Did I mention I actually hate tea? I’m a coffee girl all the way. But it does have it’s uses….

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

I used 100 cheap teabags. (Typhoo if you were wondering. On spesh at £2.50 for 200)…

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

Brewed my tea solution in about 1.5 litres of hot water for about 10 minutes….

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

Strained the teabags (give em a good squeeze) and then topped up my pan with about another 1.5 litres of boiling water (this is a standard casserole pan if that gives you an idea of the size)…

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

Wet the garment first, then submerge in the tea….

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

Bring to an enthusiastic simmer, then turn off the heat and allow to steep in the solution for at least an hour. Preferably 2. Stir/turn frequently to ensure an even result. Then pour away the solution, rinse until water runs clear in warm, graduating to cool, water. Then chuck in the tumble dryer to help set the colour…

 

Use tea to add a unique vintage twist to a white shirt at www.makery.uk

And check out the difference! It’s actually a vintagey peach colour in the flesh. and definitely more “me” and importantly, more likely to get worn.

Now, lets talk about fabric content. I actually wasn’t expecting great results with this because it’s only really supposed to work on natural fibres. (I’ve used this method to dye silk before here) This top, although it looked and felt like a lightweight cotton, is actually 100% viscose. But, hey, it worked. So far I’ve hand washed it twice with no obvious fade…next time I’ll try it on a delicate wash in the machine and see how it goes. Will keep you posted!

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10 Comments

  1. Ginny February 27, 2015

    Ooooh thanks oodles! This post falls into the perfect tutorial at the perfect time category. I have a length of floral cotton denim that has an offensively bright white background color and wanted to tone it down to lend it more of an antiquey vibe before making jeans from it — tea dye!!! Awesome idea and one I will definitely try!

    Reply
    • portia February 28, 2015

      Hi Ginny! Don’t you just love it when that happens?! Glad it proved useful and timely 😉
      Px

      Reply
  2. JJ March 1, 2015

    Since you’re a coffee gal, maybe you should coffee dye something next! :o) Love the finished results of this tea bath!

    JJ
    http://www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • portia March 1, 2015

      Funny you should say that JJ 😉

      Reply
  3. Susie March 3, 2015

    I like your result, I always forget about tea dying. Coffee works nicely, too. It softens the colors nicely.

    Viscose is a natural fiber. Similar to cotton, as its a pulp. Sometimes made of bamboo, sometimes other plants. Set with soda ash to help make it more permanent. Vinegar helps set protein fibers (wool and silk).

    Reply
    • portia March 3, 2015

      Ah that would explain it then! I didn’t know that. Thank you Susie! Px

      Reply
  4. Amelia March 3, 2015

    I love this – so simple and such a dramatic change, it looks like a completely different blouse! I’ll definitely give tea dying a go – thanks for the instructions, I probably would have made the tea cold and then not left the garment in long enough!

    Reply
    • portia March 3, 2015

      Yay Amelia! Mad how such a simple change can make such a difference 🙂

      Reply
  5. Karen Ellis [RUDE] March 4, 2015

    Last year I attended an organic dye workshop. The textile artist told us not to use pots/utensils that you dye in for cooking. The fabric may have toxic chemicals.

    Love your made new shirt !

    Reply
    • portia March 4, 2015

      Thanks for the info Karen:) Px

      Reply

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