About Me

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dyeing Cloth With Coffee and Tea

So I have a sweater. It looks like this.

I don't like to wear very white sweaters or coats because I hated to draw attention to my shy little self and it's just kind of stuck, even though I love wearing bright colors now. 

 Anywho, I found this sweater at Goodwill for 5 buck-a-roos. I've been looking for a sweater like this for a while and I was just glad that I had found a sweater that wasn't made of puce colored velvet.
I figured that I could put on my big girl pants and deal with the white. Except that I loathed it when I tried it on at home. 


So I decided that since I already loathe it, I couldn't possibly mess it so bad that I would..loathe it more?

So here's what I did.

I boiled a giant sauce pan of water.
I put in
 14 tea bags, 
2 packets of instant coffee,
and about 1/4 of Vinegar.

(you can mess with the proportions to figure out color, but the vinegar is important to help the stain set)

It looked yummy.


I removed it from the heat and left it there for about an hour, stirring every now and then. 

Here's what I learned:

Don't leave the tea bags in. I got a few yucky, too dark spots where the tea bags came in direct contact with the fabric. No bueno. 

The longer you let it sit, the darker it gets.

If you don't want your fabric shrinking, do not put it in hot water. Let the tea/coffee mixture cool and then insert your fabric to be died.

Freshly wash your cloth and don't use fabric softener or a dryer sheet. Those leave residue and the stain won't work as well. 

Play around with the color! I used more tea (I don't have much coffee) so it turned out more peachy-orangey colored. I feel that coffee would turn it a more earthy brown/tan.

This is not a permanent dye. It is a stain. This will wash out (and may seep onto other clothes in the washer, so just take heed and don't wash it in hot water).

This is what it looked like when I was done!

And for dramatic effect...

Woot, woot! 


I'm linking up to:


I also linked up here:

Frugally Days, Sustainable Ways

but the link picture showed up like this...

Sad. Just click on the link. 


  1. What a fantastic idea! Thanks for linking up!

  2. Yea! I do this with my fabric if it's too white, but the other day I used coffee grounds and got dark spots on the fabric :( I guess I should use the tea staining. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    @ Creatively Living

    1. I got dark spots, too, from the tea bags! I guess it would work best if we strained the liquid, first. :)