Don't you hate when you buy fabric at the store thinking that it is the color that you want it. Only to get it home and find out that it is completely the wrong shade? This just happened to me over the weekend. I was so excited that I found this great deal on fabric for my upcoming Snow White costume, only to find out that it was too white to go along with the rest of the fabric that I bought. 

Therefore my solution was simple. I was going to have to dye my fabric to match the rest of my costume. Since all I needed was the white to become a light tan/ eggshell, I thought I could dye it naturally with tea. 

Searching through a lot of tutorials, I thought I had a good grasp on how to go about doing this. All it required was a pot of boiling water, tea bags, and a large pot. I thought, "Hey. I can do this". I never took in the fact that I was trying to dye 8 yards of fabric. 

I got half way though adding the tea to to the pot of hot water when I realized that this is never going to cover all of my fabric. The next biggest pot that would fit all of my fabric was actually my bathtub. That meant I had to move the half soaked fabric from my stove to the tub. I am quite surprised that I didn't burn myself transferring all of that hot fabric to the tub.

Here you can see the fabric after about a hour's soak (which was about the time that all the tutorials suggested). For this batch, I used 5 tea bags in a quart of water that I added to the tub of hot water that was about 3 gallons(sorry, I didn't measure the tub water exactly). I did have to stir it every 15 minutes or so to avoid having splotches of un-dyed fabric. After my hour was up, I washed it in cold water to set in the tea. The drying of the fabric took the longest because I had so much of it. I hung it up over my shower curtain rod and shifted the fabric every hour until every piece of it had time to air dry.

Once dried, I noticed that it wasn't dark enough for my tastes. I could tell that it wasn't pure white anymore which was a huge plus. But that meant that I had to dye my fabric again. 

This time around I didn't have enough tea for another round, but I had coffee. Remembering my mom dyeing her crafts with coffee, I thought I could do it with my fabric. With 8 cups of dark coffee in my hand, I went about the same process (minus the tiny pot step)  as the tea dying. I have to say that this method worked a ton better for me.

This photo was taken around the same time as the other one. You can tell that it is a ton darker than the tea water.

 The fabric on the left is a close match to the original color of the fabric while the fabric on the right side is my coffee stained fabric. It is just a slight but drastic change to the color.

What I have learned:

  • Tea/Coffee doesn't leave a smell one the fabric. I was slightly worried that I would be walking around smelling like coffee beans ( not that there is anything wrong with that).
  • You have to stir frequently. I tried to get all of the bubbles out of the fabric in the water, but it was virtually impossible. 
  • Make sure to wring out the water from the fabric as best you can before hanging it up. Or else your curtain rod will fall in the middle of the night waking you up.

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