Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tutorial - dying cotton lace with tea

Have you ever wanted to add just a bit of color to white, cotton lace?  Here is how I do it.  Some of you may know that I have been dying playsilks for years. I have a tutorial here on how to dye them youself with either Koolaid or food coloring.  Using the same method, today I dyed some white cotton lace but with tea!  This will not work with synthetic fibers but this technique works great on cotton and silk.

It is really simple. You need 100% cotton lace or trim,  white vinegar, black tea (any kind will do), a microwaveable dish

and, of course, a tea kettle! If you do not have tea kettle, you may boil water in a small pot. 

First you are going to boil your water or get it very close to boiling and then soak your lace in it for a few seconds.  It is important to completely wet the lace first so it absorbs the dye (tea) completely. 

 Then, you are going to remove the lace, set it aside (be careful not to burn your fingers) and soak a tea bag or three in your hot water. This part is trial and error. The first time I did this, I found that one tea bag was not enough for the lace I was using. So, I boiled the water again and added two more tea bags and started over.  You must be aware that this is not an exact science. Do not expect perfection. Enjoy the process and the imperfections that result. 

Now, add a few glugs of white vinegar to the mix and saturate your lace.  Glugs are literally the sound the vinegar makes as it is pouring. Or you can use tablespoons. Two or three should suffice.

(I warned you this is not an exact science)

Put the mix in the microwave for a three minutes. 

Check the color and see if you are done.  If you want it darker, you will need to repeat the process.

I was happy with what I got. See below? Next to the original white, the lace is a nice antique color. Perfect!

Looks amazing next to my Downton Abby fabric!


  1. Tea can be dying material first of all i knew about it. I think it will helpful for me. We can choose any types of dying model by using internet.

    Dress Suit

    1. yes so true! so many options to see just a google away