Dyeing fabrics is usually a messy, messy procedure. Dyeing fabrics requires a lot of time, heat and water. There are chemicals involved that dye the fabric and ones that set it as well. Another method for dyeing fabrics is relatively simple, using tea and coffee.
Using tea and coffee, though is really more of a stain and will fade or wash out with wear and tear (and bleach). There are some projects where you might want to dye fabrics, but won't necessarily need to wash the fabrics (at least not regularly). Projects such as doll clothes, wall hangings, fabric journals are prime examples.
Heat up 4 - 6 cups of water until boiling.
In a heat proof bowl, combine the hot water with either 4 - 6 tea bags or 3 T instant coffee (more or less as desired). Stir the coffee until dissolved or let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
Gently place the fabric that you want to dye into the hot tea or coffee.
Stir gently until the fabric is evenly covered. Stir occasionally.
Check the fabric after 20 minutes by rinsing a small piece of it with clear water. If you want a darker dye, put back in the bowl. When it has achieved the desired color, rinse the fabric with cool water, until it runs clear. Let dry. Iron out any wrinkles.
To dye with tea or coffee, here are a few tips:
1. Use cotton or muslin as the fabric will absorb the stain.
2. Start with very hot water (boiling) and steep your tea for 10 minutes.
3. Expect a subdued stain - not a bold color.
4. You can go back and darken a stain.
5. You can also bleach an stain to lighten it, if you are not happy with the result.
6. This can all be done in your kitchen sink!
7. Always start with washed and dried fabrics.
8. Leave the fabric in the dye bath for anywhere from 20 in - 4 hours.
9. The color of the fabric will lighten further as it dries.
10. If using coffee brewed using grounds, sprinkling the grounds onto the fabric will create an interesting effect that you might like. Also, some people scrub the grounds into the fabric and this creates a distressed look.