Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tea Staining (the way I do it)....

Thought I'd show you how I tea stain my fabric. Super simple.

I am going to start working on a quilt using reproduction fabrics. I promised myself that I am not buying anymore fabric until I use some of what I have. (not sure what the definition of some is yet!LOL) I couldn't find any background fabric I liked in my stash.


It was all too light for the fabrics I am working with so I decided to tea stain some. Here is how I do it:


Put the fabric in a big bowl. I used a big Pyrex mixing bowl. This is 2 yards of pre-washed ( I pre-wash everything) cotton fabric. Then make a strong batch of tea.


I also added vinegar and some salt to mine. Don't really know if it does anything to help set the tea but it seems like something my aunt would have done so I just do it. After the tea steeps and is as dark as you'd like it, pour it over your material. To cover or close to it.


I then let it soak and turn the fabric a few times in the bowl every few minutes. Then when it's the color I want it

(*it will lighten up as it dries) I put it into the washer on the spin cycle (no rinse). Then I throw it in the dryer and Voila! The tea stained fabric is on the bottom and the original is on the top.

It's subtle but just enough to work well with my other fabric. You can make it darker by making a stronger brew, adding instant coffee or letting it soak longer. You can also use different kinds of teas. The possibilities are endless.

I really like to tea stain neutral homespun material. It just grabs the tea and you get lots of great streaks and textures in your fabric. Here is my absolute favorite quilt. I made it in 2007.



Here is another made with tea stained homespun in the background. I like the lighter and darker streaks in this one. It's hard to see them, they are near the willow trees.



I made this one for Jacque. We did a swap this summer and we decided on a prim drab theme. I love how this turned out.

Again the background is all various tea stained pieces. I hope this was helpful to someone. I think it's a lot of fun and a great way to mute some of the bright colors that may be in your stash if it's mixed like mine.




8 comments:

SewCalGal said...

Beautiful. I also love tea stained fabric.

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Wow, all of those are great!! I never thought of adding salt or vinegar to my fabric- good idea! :)

cornbreadandbeansquilting said...

I can't wait to see the quilt you make with that beautiful tea stained fabric and the yummy repro fabrics!

Jacque. said...

Hey Erin...being a hooker of rugs, I used to dye most of my own wool. I used salt in the pot of water, and once the wool took up the dye to where I wanted the color to be, I added vinegar. Sets the color. Tea-stained fabric is easy and makes such a difference!

And, by the way, I LOVE my quilt you made me with the tea-stained backgrounds. It hangs off a little side table directly across from my big easy chair. Always brings a smile.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be so simple minded that I lack the common sense to know how much salt and how much vinegar to use. Thanks for your tutorials, patterns and sharing your wisdom. And I'm especially grateful for your patience in answering questions. I tried to learn as much as I could from my grandmother about quilting, soap making, canning, crocheting, and more that I could while she was with us. She was a dear soul, wise and very talented. Many women came to her to ask about various tidbits. She loved to learn and happy to share what worked and didn't work. She was a great teacher. I catch myself trying to learn about the things that my Grandmother would be interested in knowing. Your site will survey be cherished by your children, grandchildren, and many more like myself. Thanks for being a great teacher, also! monalokelley(at)yahoo dot com

Kristy said...

I have been thinking of doing this with a quilt top I made of a farm yard. I don't like that some of my colors are bright, I like colors that are more muted. My only worry is that I will ruin/hate the whole thing after all the time I have put into it. Any thoughts? Do you have before and after pics of some colored/bright fabric you have tried this with. jkloneske@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Susie-sukahn2000@yahoo.com
I have been thinking of trying this for sometime. Thanks for the great information.
My only concern is; will is wash out or fade with time? I am considering it on what will be a couch blanket(moderate useage). I have done dyes before and fading was a problem.
Any ideas or comments welcome.

Anonymous said...

Your tutorials are very easy to follow. I now use coffee to stain instead of tea. It takes to the fabric better. I don't like the smell of coffee (made me sick when pregnant) so I add vanilla extract to the coffee water mix. I haven't tried it on bigger projects like your beautiful quilts, but on small projects it works quite well.

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