Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Project - Tea Stain Dye

I'm continuing to work my way through the pile of clothes I've bought at Goodwill this summer!  One of the first places I head to is the white section.  I often find great shirts and sweaters in perfect shape, but a little boring in their white state.  Plus, white is not a good color for me - everyone can instantly see everything I've been eating and drinking since I put it on.  A little fabric dye, though, and voila!  A totally new shirt!

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