Being in the Textile Arts Center studio here in Brooklyn is super inspiring….especially the natural dying section. I have nervously dabbled a bit in this area, but for me, it’s always best to start with something simple that I can grasp…..so here goes my experiment with some black tea I found in the kitchen!
And guess what?! There is a little surprise to make it more interesting… I added a simple, cheap resist of Elmer’s glue…good ‘ole Elmer.
So here are the materials I used:
four different types of natural white-ish fabrics (I found that knit cotton held the color best!)
pot with boiling water
tongs to spare my fingers from the boiling water
Step 1: Paint on your glue resist. I used paintbrushes to paint patterns, shapes, flowers and sometimes just smushed it around to see what would happen!
Step 2: Let that glue dry completely before dying. I put our swatches in front of the fan and became impatient…so then we ironed them (after placing a cloth on top!)
Here is the tea I used and the pot…you could used any kind of black tea to get a similar color. I suggest experimenting with what you have!
Step 3: Put enough water in the pot so your fabric can freely move around and turn on high heat. Once the water is boiling, throw in a good amount of tea and wait a few minutes until the color comes out.
Step 4: Leave fabric in bath until the color looks good to you, you can always get it darker by putting it back in.
Here is a picture of some of the swatches after being removed from the bath, before we moved the glue resist.
Step 5: Remove the resist: I found that the best method was to use a scrub sponge with a bit of dish soap and water. Gently rub the fabric until the glue comes out and VOILA!
Now go experiment! And if you want to learn more about Natural Dying, check out one of the Natural Dye classes!