Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tea Dye

They started out the same color
I don't tend to buy a lot of light-colored clothing because... well... I'm a slob.  And sure enough, within two weeks of purchasing a pair of beige capris, I managed to stain it with rust from the ice cream maker.  Right smack-dab on the front of the leg.  Cripes.

I decided to dye the capris a few shades darker with tea, to see if it would hide the stain.  Goodness knows I'm aware that tea stains, but I was amazed at how few tea bags can change color on a whole piece of clothing.  The shorts and the capris were originally the same color.

I followed the directions I found on creativebug.  It seemed like so little liquid for the amount of material to dye.  I figured the capris were no more than a yard of fabric, which called for four cups of water.  I cooked up six cups of water, which still didn't seem like enough to cover the capris, but it worked.  The dye took evenly across the fabric.  Unfortunately, it took even better to the stained area.  Instead of a medium orange spot on beige pants, I ended up with a black spot on brown pants.  Ugh.

As far as I'm concerned, the experiment was a success.  I will be curious how well the color hold up to multiple washings.  I was still getting weak tea after several rinses.  And now I'll go forward with my original idea to fix the stain - lop off part of the leg and make them into a pair of shorts.


  1. The tea stain project looks like it turned out fabulous! You went from stone to khaki colored capris =) Anyway, a little trick my Gram's taught me, and it has saved many articles of clothing over the years, is to saturate the rust spot with lemon juice, and then put salt on it and put it in the sun and just let it sit. I've used this technique successfully even on some very old rust stains. It took a couple of rinse and repeats, but even the old stubborn rust spots were no match for Gram's rust-a-way remover ;)

    1. Holy Moses, that worked! Thanks so much! I saved the other pair of capris.


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