I used to use tea bags to dye some of the shirts - I really like that aged look it gives them. However, no matter how I handle the dying process, no matter whether or not I use something (and I tried lots of things) to try and fix the tea color, it always eventually fades to a too light color. So I recently had an idea I can't believe I didn't think of sooner - use Procion dye. After a few experiments, I found that Procion Ecru will give me the tea stain color I like if I cut it way down. I use 1 teaspoon in 1 1/2 gallons of water (1/2 pound or under of fabric) for a light stain color and 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons for a darker stain. If you're new to dying fabric with Procion, see my past post here.
This white sweater is a good example - I found it at Goodwill for $1.00 and in perfect shape. Not even a fray anywhere. The only question was, its tag said it was made of 96% baumwolle. ???? I just got a smartphone earlier this summer and am still not used to being able to look stuff up when I'm out and about - so I bought it anyway. How can you lose for a buck?! And if it turned out to be wool, I decided I could play around with some kool-aid dying on it. Turns out baumwolle is German for cotton - perfect! I dyed it a tea stain shade,
added a little three prong blanket stitch edging for interest, and I have a new summer sweater - and a new German word!
I also had a nice surprise dying another dollar find. I bought this linen shirt planning on embroidering around the collar and sleeves after it was dyed. I dyed it sage green and instantly, up popped a design right where I'd been planning on embroidering - there was a pattern stamped along the edges in white. On white. Hmmm. It didn't show up at all before dying!
Time to decide what to dye next!
Happy Creating! Deborah