Tea-Dyed Tablecloth

Yellow Purse with Grommets (9)

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My mother and my sister worked at a local “living history” museum outside of Indianapolis (Conner Prairie). My mom sewed costumes and my sister, Tracy was a “character.” She worked with an old woman “character” that smoked a corn cob pipe. But that is a story for another day. One day they did fabric dying using natural ingredients. We can do this as well. It makes for a very soft color. You can use:

  • mustard (powder mixed in water or watered down condiment)
  • green leaves
  • juice from grapes, beets, or any rich colored fruit
  • coffee and tea

My mother found this tablecloth, but it was stained. It was white, and in my kitchen, it sticks out too much. So I decided this was the right project to try it.

Two important things to remember before starting:

  1. Make sure the items are very clean, no oils. Oils will prevent the dye from taking.
  2. Test your garment. Be aware that synthetic fabrics take dye differently than cotton.

I used tea from bags that were on special at the grocery. I added HOT water. My tap in the garage is next to the water heater and water comes out pretty darn hot. You can boil water. I also used a plastic tub, but I didn’t want it stained, so I used a bag liner. I kept the item in the tea water overnight.

Some of the stains were still there, but the beige overall color masked them. I will be using this tablecloth.  

Photo set is here.

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