how to tea dye fabric

how to tea dye fabric

How to Tea-Dye Fabric

Tea-dyeing fabric is an easy way to give fabrics a unique, aged appearance. It is an economical and eco-friendly technique that produces pleasant, vintage-inspired effects. This guide will provide the basic steps and instructions for tea-dyeing fabric.

What You’ll Need:

  • Tea Bags
  • Fabric (cotton, silk, or rayon)
  • Stove
  • Large Pot
  • Water
  • Vinegar


  1. Prepare the fabric: Before dyeing the fabric, pre-wash it and let it dry. Then, fill a pot with enough water to cover the fabric and set the stove to high to bring the water to a boil.
  2. Soak fabric: Take the pot off of the heat and add a few tablespoons of vinegar. Insert the fabric into the pot and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Create the tea mixture: Meanwhile, prepare the tea dye mixture by boiling 2 quarts of water in a separate pot and adding 4 bags of tea. Let the pot simmer for 15 minutes before turning off the heat.
  4. Combine the fabric and tea mixture: Once the dye and fabric are ready, combine the two by pouring the simmered tea mixture into the pot with the fabric.
  5. Simmer the fabric: Let the fabric sit in the tea mixture, stirring occasionally, over low-medium heat for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse and dry the fabric: Remove the fabric from the pot and rinse it in cold water. Hang the fabric to dry and then, if desired, rinse it again in warm water to intensify the hue.


  • For a lighter hue, leave the tea dye on the fabric for only 15 minutes.
  • For a darker hue, increase the simmer time to 45 minutes.
  • To create sparks of color, add a few drops of other liquid dyes to the pot.
  • A single tea bag will provide a light color; add more for a darker hue.

Tea-dyeing fabric is an easy, budget-friendly, and earth-friendly process to give fabric a beautiful, unique appearance. With a little time and some simple tools, you can experiment with different hues and achieve a wide array of effects.


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