Tea Dyeing

Some weeks ago I spilled a cup of tea down the front of my favourite white dress. This was hardly surprising as (a) I am clumsy, and (b) my previous few drinks had been alcoholic. Well, that will teach me won’t it? Actually no, it probably won’t.

Then I remembered reading about dyeing fabric using tea bags. I decided to give it a try. Because all my best ideas come when I’m inebriated.

I began by testing small samples of cotton crochet fabric. The results were so impressive that I eagerly moved onto larger pieces. Thankfully, I was sober at the time so I even remember how I did it, and can share it with you.


how to dye fabric with tea

You will need:

  • 100 tea bags, I used ‘fair trade’ black tea
  • 500g salt
  • A pot large enough for the fabric to move freely
  • Large spoon or thongs to stir
  • Up to 500g dry fabric, natural fibers work best eg. cotton, wool, silk


  1. Wash the fabric first to remove any manufacturer’s chemicals which may interfere with the dyeing process. I recommend experimenting with small swatches first.
  2. Fill pot with water.
  3. Simmer tea bags with salt for 30 mins.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Remove tea bags from the pot.
  6. Add fabric to the pot. The fabric must be damp first, to eliminate air pockets.
  7. Soak fabric for up to one hour, depending on the desired shade. Stir every few minutes so the fabric takes the colour evenly.
  8. Rinse in cold water.

how to dye fabric with tea

Depending on what kind of tea you use the colour will vary from honey tones to a milky coffee colour. The colours will be muted and echo the plants from which they were derived.

The simmering, giant pot of tea made my house smell of deliciousness. I dipped my mug into the dye bath for a taste, but forgot about the salt. Eew.

Many recipes I found claimed that salt is not necessary, as tea contains it’s own mordant (fixing agent which binds the colour to the fabric). However, through experimentation I have found that salt gives a more permanent, colourfast result.

It is important that you wash your tea-dyed fabric/garments separately in cold water. Use a mild soap, as modern detergents are designed to remove tea stains.

Dyeing with tea is a sustainable alternative to modern synthetic dyes. In our continual quest to be greener, this month we have included a few tea-dyed dresses in our Kitsch Bitsch store.

Vintage tea-dyed cotton crochet lace maxi dress

Vintage tea-dyed cotton crochet lace maxi dress


Vintage 50s-style tea-dyed cotton lace wedding cocktail dress

Vintage 50s-style tea-dyed cotton lace wedding cocktail dress

Vintage tea-dyed cotton crochet lace mini dress

Vintage tea-dyed cotton crochet lace mini dress

I have been searching for sustainable dyes to use in our business and the answer was right there in front of me.

If you have any questions about tea dyeing I am happy to answer them in the comments section below, or you can email me at: kitsch-bitsch@optusnet.com.au

The original tea-stain never came out of my white dress, but I salvaged it by adding it to the tea dye bath.

Sometimes the problem can be the solution.


145 thoughts on “Tea Dyeing

    1. Alyssa Devanny Post author

      Hi Marylinn,
      Yes feel free to use anything from our blog as long as you link back to Kitsch Bitsch.

  1. Jessica

    Hi there, I am wondering what type of tea your used to dye the above three dresses? I am looking to obtain a similar colour for my bridesmaid dresses 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Alyssa Devanny Post author

      Hi Jessica,
      I used black tea, I can’t remember the brand. Try experimenting with different teas with small swatches of cotton. Good luck!

  2. karen burkr

    I want tea dye a bright orange rag rug so that I can use it as a wall hanging. I want to tone the orange down its just too harsh and pumpkin color. Any ideas and suggestions would be helpful the texture and movement and shape of the design would be wonderful on the wall. Thank you.

  3. Clare

    I want to dye a white veil ivory, Can you give me any tips or hints when using net and tea dye? Its my Mums wedding veil so I want to be sure it will work. I will try a sample piece for net first.

  4. Leslie

    I have an ecru crochet tablecloth from my grandmother that has yellow stains from years of use. I’ve tried washing and soaking with little results. Will tea dyeing blend the colors into a more uniform color?

  5. help for losing weight

    It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this publish and if I may I desire to suggest you few attention-grabbing things or tips.
    Maybe you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I desire to learn even more issues approximately it!

    Look into my web page; help for losing weight

  6. Snake Exterminator Barrie

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    My homepage :: Snake Exterminator Barrie

  7. aruba luxury resorts

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful information specially the last part :
    ) I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  8. Performance Painting

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable
    job and our whole community will be thankful
    to you.

  9. dorsey services

    Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity on your post is simply excellent and i
    could assume you are knowledgeable on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed to keep up to date with
    imminent post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please carry on the
    rewarding work.

  10. Life Coaching Inwood NYC

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of
    time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  11. Ernestine

    Our trustworthy legal services have always attracted the interest of numerous clients.
    Even if a state in an ‘at will’ state, where both
    employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship for any
    reason, this doesn’t always apply to workers comp
    cases’but there is a fine line. Are you a member of
    any national brain injury associations.

  12. Web lify Bonus

    Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from
    an established blog. Is it hard to set up your
    own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    Thank you

  13. Arvind Pandit

    Favors – You can get creative with your favors, as well.
    LED lights tend to be far more durable and can take being knocked around in thhe boot
    of your car. Finding Your Way:  Frugal travelers carry their own GPS if they own one.

    Feel free tto visit my web-site: Arvind Pandit

  14. Elias

    What’s up, for all time i used to check website posts here in the early
    hours in the daylight, for the reason that i love to find out more and more.

  15. speed ranking system review

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your
    blog and will come back at some point. I want to
    encourage that you continue your great work, have a nice morning!

  16. Aventura realtor

    Heya! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but
    I had to ask. Does running a well-established website like yours require a lot of work?
    I am completely new to blogging however I do write in my diary daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring
    blog owners. Appreciate it!

  17. dentist in washington heights

    I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with
    your blog. It appears as if some of the written text on your
    content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening
    to them too? This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve
    had this happen before. Appreciate it

  18. gestacion

    you’re in reality a just right webmaster. The site
    loading speed is amazing. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a great task in this topic!

  19. RunClick Plugin by Walt Bayliss

    Whats up very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb
    .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds
    additionally? I’m glad to find so many useful info right here within the put
    up, we’d like work out extra techniques in this regard,
    thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  20. Greenville natural birth

    I tend not to comment, however after reading a few
    of the comments here tea-dyeing. I do have a few questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or does it look like some of the responses come across like they are
    coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional
    online sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.

    Would you make a list of the complete urls of your social
    sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Stop by my web-site :: Greenville natural birth

  21. Harbortouch POS

    Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your
    favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest
    thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well
    as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  22. Jessica

    I do not know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with your site.

    It looks like some of the text on your content
    are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

    Stop by my weblog – web site (Jessica)

  23. Indian healing clay mask

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a
    week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  24. get rid of cold sores fast review

    Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your
    site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a
    applicable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright transparent concept

  25. day trading etfs

    Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info approximately
    this topic for ages and yours is the best I have found out
    so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are
    you sure concerning the supply?

  26. Rocco

    First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you
    don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center
    yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are generally wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?

    My web page … website (Rocco)

  27. string trimmers ratings

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff
    right here! Good luck for the next!

  28. tutoring in wilmington nc

    Hello there! Quick question that’s completely off
    topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My web site looks weird when browsing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.

  29. social bookmarking backlinks

    Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy
    reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any
    other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Appreciate it!

  30. help with downpayment for michigan first time home buyer

    Howdy! I understand this is sort of off-topic however
    I had to ask. Does building a well-established website such as
    yours take a large amount of work? I’m completely new to blogging but I do write in my journal
    every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring
    blog owners. Thankyou!

  31. braun silk epil 1

    Howdy! This bloog post could not be written any better! Looking
    throuh this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I am going to
    forward this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a gdeat read.
    I appeciate you for sharing!

    Regiew my website braun silk epil 1

  32. click here for more info

    Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I
    guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted
    and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new
    to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for first-time blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Here is my blog :: click here for more info

  33. whatsapp on pc xp

    Or someone who likes to keep a track of what you consume and rely energy?
    The unfavorable to all these is that none of them are suitable
    with each other. This app will identify the song with lyrics and artist information.

  34. Johanna

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with
    the exact same comment. Is there a means you can rrmove
    me from that service? Thanks a lot!

    My web blog holland taylor plasttic surgery, Johanna,

  35. norske spilleautomater

    Just desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity for your put up is just cool and that i can assume
    you’re an expert on this subject. Fine together with your permission let me to
    grasp your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thank you 1,000,000 and please continue the gratifying work.

    Here is my weblog – norske spilleautomater

  36. http://www.akilsizbilge.in/

    Soția mea s-au fi identificate alături de leucemie ( AML )
    și mă întreb ce pot să fac să-l sprijine . Nu e nimic ca reconfortant ca o
    pisică de dormit în poala mea în timp ce am citit o carte excelenta .
    Ordinele doctorului este # 9 în apelurile de bingo .

  37. webmaster world

    Thank you for every other informative web site. Where else may I am getting
    that kind of information written in such an ideal means?

    I’ve a challenge that I am just now working on, and I have been on the glance out for such info.

  38. Porfirio

    Now as a final step 3G watcher need to be set up.The system needs to be restarted now.

    Note: jailbreaking your iPhone 3G could cause it to
    become bricked or completely damaged.

  39. Simone

    Nevertheless, when it comes to making use of your iPad for out-and-out business applications, you need
    to play smart. The Eatery is another great app for weight-loss.

    Why utilize this in your own home or hotspots only?

  40. blogspot.be

    This archive consists of many stable deals. This can really restrict
    your choice in regards to particular brands or models.
    Action nine: The app will place your gadget into restoration mode.

  41. Deloras

    Open the media and produce a folder with name “cydia”.
    Phase two: Load iTunes and make certain it sees your telephone.

    You can have them conveniently delivered to your home or your company.

  42. custom auto paint shop Sacramento

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all.

    However just imagine if you added some great images or video
    clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but
    with pics and video clips, this website could definitely be one of the
    most beneficial in its field. Superb blog!

    Take a look at my web page – custom auto paint shop Sacramento

  43. cannabiswall.com

    #3 You may also try defragmenting your drive to take back some area.

    Today I have discovered what you might get Whats App on Pc from your website
    down the page. The choices in curtains and blinds are countless.

  44. whatsapp for pc review

    If this is the situation here are two much more possible
    remedies. It will be the topic of a long term hub as I believe
    this topic is expansive sufficient to warrant its personal hub.
    Tear said that BB doesn’t see that as a problem.

  45. cosplay

    What i do not understood is in fact how you’re now not actually a lot more well-appreciated than you might be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably with regards to this topic, produced
    me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles.

    Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated until it’s
    one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding.
    All the time maintain it up!

    Look into my web site – cosplay

  46. exotic car hire dubai

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him…

    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this
    topic here on your website.

    Feel free to visit my webpage … exotic car hire dubai

  47. skin

    If you are going for most excellent contents like me,
    only go to see this web site all the time because it offers
    quality contents, thanks

    Also visit my webpage :: skin

  48. public speaking coach jeremy tracey

    Greetings I am so thrilled I found your webpage, I really found you
    by mistake, while I was searching on Digg for something else,
    Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank
    you for a tremendous post and a all round interesting blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it
    all at the minute but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

    Stop by my web site: public speaking coach jeremy tracey

  49. Linette

    Then you’ll uncover that the device will go into the restoration method.
    In addition to, Sprint is your provider, you could effortlessly anticipate anywhere about $250.

    Yes! jailbreak is a easy and safe as well.

  50. thing to do on long island

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d
    ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing
    a blog article or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same
    topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Great blog by the way!

    My homepage thing to do on long island

  51. DanAnton

    Fantastic website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community
    forums that cover the same topics talked about in this
    article? I’d really like to bbe a part of community where I can get responses
    from other experienced people that share the same
    interest. If you hhave any recommendations, please let me know.
    Appreciate it!

    Stop byy my blog post DanAnton

  52. Sharon

    Hi Alyssa,

    I purchased a beautiful large crocheted tablecloth the other day at a garage/estate sale for $2. It has terrible dark brown stains… lots of them, some are only a few stitches big and others are 3×4 inches. They look almost like rust but I don’t think they are actually rust, probably coffee or chocolate.

    First I soaked in a non-bleach type whitener product in very hot water and the water turned brown immediately, but didn’t touch the stains. Drained and rinsed and made another sink of very hot water and mixed with a solution of bleach (I know… a no-no, but the crochet thread is not fragile… seems very strong) and the same non-bleach powder and used a bleach pen on each stain. I let that soak overnight… The bleach pen did lighten the stains quite a bit, but didn’t remove them and of course the bleach solution stripped the color unevenly. Today I’m trying again by treating the spots with oxyclean and also sprayed a couple with vinegar to see what happens.

    My questions to you are: How can I bleach out the cloth uniformly prior to tea-staining? And if I can’t get the stains out completely, will tea-staining only make them darker and still just as visible as they are with the white background?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sharon B.
    p.s. Hopefully I’ll get an email notification of your response if not, could you please email me personally?!

  53. 【激安市場】★今夜20時~4H限定P10倍★【送料無料】 mofua モフア 掛布団 カバー


  54. Pingback: obat untuk menyembuhkan penyakit kencing nanah

  55. mortgage

    All sorts of real estate can be, and typically are, protected with a home
    loan and also bear a rate of interest that is expected to reflect the lender’s threat.

  56. Pingback: penyakit kutil kulit

  57. SOLD OUT

    予約商品7 6頃 入荷予定 送料無料 アディダス adidas EQT KEY TRAINER スニーカー イクイップメント キー トレーナー レザー メンズ D73790 ホワイト ブラック [7 6 新入荷][ 正規 ]★★【W】【P2】

  58. Pingback: 6 Ways to Use Tea that Doesn't Involve Drinking It - Tea, Tea Accessories & Recipes - The Tea Kitchen

  59. 銆愬崐椤嶄互涓嬧棌ef-de銆戙€愩偦銉笺儷銆戙偄銉笺儓銉曘儵銉兗銉椼儶銉炽儓銈广偒銉笺儓 ef-de 銈ㄣ儠銉?Ladies 銉儑銈c兗銈?銈儜銉儷 銈广偒銉笺儓2014骞?绉嬪啲 935_43152003銆怱銈

    “鍩烘湰浠曟銈裤偆銉椾竴浣撳瀷瀵惧繙銉°儑銈c偄銆€閷茬敾姗熻兘甯告檪閷茬敾G锛堝姞閫熷害锛夈偦銉炽偟銉奸尣鐢绘墜鍕曢尣鐢婚尣鐢绘檪闁撱€€娑叉櫠銈点偆銈?.4銈ゃ兂銉併偒銉°儵銉囥儱銈儷銈儭銉┿€€銈儭銉╃敾绱犳暟100涓囩敾绱犮仢銇粬姗熻兘WDR姗熻兘銆€GPS銆€Wi-Fi銆€銈点偆銈恒兓閲嶉噺骞厁楂樸仌x濂ヨ銇嶃€€閲嶉噺銆€銆€璩煎叆銇亗銇熴仯銇︺伄銇娿伃銇屻亜涓嬭 銇旀敞鎰忋€佸強銇?銈ゃ兂銉曘偐銉°兗銈枫儳銉炽倰銈堛亸纰鸿獚銇勩仧銇犮亜銇︺亱銈夈仈娉ㄦ枃銇忋仩銇曘亜銆?3

  60. Pingback: Valentine’s Flour Sacks…Spud Style – Oakland Momma

  61. Read More Here

    garcinia cambogia pure extract 60 cla best brand pure green coffee at walmart acai blueberry how to grow mangosteen in the philippines hoodia gordonii best price nutrition company bentonite clay psyllium cleanse chitosan silver dupont chewing gum good or bad for weight loss lipozene for sale cheap glucamannan fiber

  62. seine Antwort

    Als wir da hineingingen, ich mich auf den Rücken legte und meine Frau den Sattel lockte, wusste ich noch nicht, dass wir unser eigenes Gebot übertreten würden.

  63. mp3juice

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate
    you spending some time and energy to put this article together.
    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and
    posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  64. eficiencia energetica electrodomesticos

    Los servicios realizados se centran en sistemas de climatización de viviendas, oficinas, lugares públicos y empresas, ya sea mediante equipos de aire acondicionado por conductos, splits, cassette con sistemas de calefacción por radiadores, calentadores de agua, calderas de biomasa, etc. La tienda on-line de Igreen cuenta con equipos de las mejores marcas, como Daikin, Daitsu, Ecoforest, Edesa, Ferroli, Mitsubishi, Haier, Fujitsu, Junkers, Panasonic, Samsung, Orbegozo, LG. Teka, etc.

  65. consumo de electrodomesticos para grupo electrogeno

    Yo llevo toda mi vida con fagor y nunca me dio problemas y si los hubo los soluciono rapido y sin costarme un duro (estando en garantias) y espabilar ya, son todas las marcas las que por una cosa u otra falla, todo esto os lo digo desde Cádiz, donde el servicio técnico de Fagor se sale, por amabilidad, educación y explicación de uso de aparatos comprados bajo la marca.

  66. Pingback: nanah

  67. Pingback: pengobatan penyakit sipilis secara alami

  68. Pingback: Three Ways To Dye Fabric Naturally

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *