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.