how to tea dye fabric

how to tea dye fabric

Tea Dyeing Fabric

Tea dyeing is an inexpensive and easy way to give fabric an aged, vintage look. All you need is tea, water, fabric, and a few household supplies. The tea will give the fabric a rich, dark color, which ranges from tan to dark brown, depending on the number of tea bags used and the type of fabrics.

What You Need

  • Tea bags (Black tea works best)
  • Large pot
  • Fabric
  • Strainer
  • Tongs
  • Measuring cup
  • Pins
  • Towels


  • Fill the pot: Fill the pot with enough water to cover the fabric. The amount of water will vary depending on the number of tea bags and the type of fabric.
  • Add the tea: Add tea bags and let them steep in the water. The longer you let the tea steep, the darker it will dye the fabric.
  • Prepare the fabric: Prepare the fabric for dyeing. Pin any loose seams or hems, and make sure the fabric is free from dirt and lint.
  • Dye the fabric: Place the fabric into the pot of tea and let it simmer on low heat for 1-2 hours.
  • Remove the fabric: Remove the fabric from the pot with tongs, and transfer it to a bowl of cold water to stop the dyeing process. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear and remove any excess dye.
  • Dry the fabric: Allow the fabric to air dry on a flat surface or dry it in the dryer on a low heat setting.


  • When dyeing cotton fabrics, try to avoid using detergents or fabric softeners beforehand. The chemicals in these can sometimes interfere with the dye and make it ineffective.
  • Try experimenting with a variety of teas to achieve different colors. White teas, green teas, and herbal teas can all work, but may not give the same results as black tea.
  • Be sure to use a large enough pot for the fabric – but not one so large that the tea becomes too diluted.

Tea dyeing is a great way to give fabric an aged, vintage look without spending a lot of money. Remember to follow the above steps and use the tips to ensure a successful tea dyeing experience.


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