December 31, 2008

Tea Staining Tutorial - The Artsy Craftsy Way

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I thought I would share my recent tea staining recipe in celcebration of the new year which will be ringing in tonight! 2009 here I come! lol

This way of tea staining, gives a nice irregular stain, with lots of darker sections. It makes the fabric look like it has aged naturally.
First, I washed my material using a mild detergent (no fabric softener). I took the wet muslin and laid it in my bathtub. I took assorted tea bags, some black tea, green tea, vanilla tea, and gingerbread tea and tossed the bags haphazardly on top the muslin. You could use all the same tea, I don't think it would make much color difference. I just used old tea bags that I had collected up from friends and relatives who try different tea varieties and don't always like them, or tea that is old and been laying around awhile. Use what you have! The more tea bags the darker your fabric will be, the less tea bags the more naturally aged your fabric will become.

After laying tea bags atop the first piece of muslin, lay another piece of wet washed muslin on top to create a layer. Add more tea bags atop the second piece. Pour Very Hot water on top of all of it to brew the tea. Just enough water to cover. I like to leave some of my muslin scrunched up, to help in the haphazardness of the stain. Let sit for 1/2 hour or so. Then go and press all over the layers with both hands, squeezing the excess out of the tea bags. Let sit and brew another 1/2 hour or so. Sit tea bags aside, and wring fabric out by hand. You can either hang to dry, or dry in the dryer. I prefer to dry mine in the dryer, as I find the extra heat sets the tea nicely.

While my muslin was drying in the dryer. I reused the tea bags, and used the same process for some other fabrics that I will be using with the muslin. I reused the bags so that I would get a lighter stain on the accent pieces. If you wanted the same, or darker stain you would use some new tea bags. I like reusing the old tea bags, so the accent pieces will be lighter. The accent pieces I dyed including silk, velvet, trims, and cheesecloth. Use the same method of dying as for the muslin. 1/2 brew, squeeze and a final 1/2 hour brew. You can see in the picture below.

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The finished dried fabrics are shown in the photos below. The accent pieces are a variety of shades as different materials take the stain uniquely. I found the cheesecloth was way too light, and should have been done with fresh tea bags. The silk, trims and lace all came out beautifully aged with the tea.
If you like this tutorial and find it useful, please let me know so I can prepare some more tutorials of my special techniques and recipes.

Be sure to see finished work at ARTSY CRAFTSY FOLKS online store.

Wishing you a safe and prosperous New Year!
May 2009 be filled with lots and lots of Arts and Crafts!

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