Natural Dyeing Recipe: Tea

For this, I used oolong tea leaves because it’s the only black tea I had, but it works. pH didn’t seem to make much a difference on it though.

You need:
Tea
Water
Strainer / cheesecloth

  1. Boil loose tea leaves in water for about an hour, until you’re happy with the intensity of dye bath
  2. Let cool before straining

Tea is rich in tannins, which is a natural mordant, so you don’t actually need a mordant when dying with tea. But for the sake of my sanity (dyeing 23 pieces of wool in a week!), I kept everything constant by having all the wool I used mordanted with alum.

There is another recipe which I found that suggested soaking tea leaves in water and white vinegar, 4:1, for about 20-60 minutes. And then to boil it after that. I think it’s more for plant-based fibres, and for use without mordanting as vinegar is one way to fix colours on cellulose textiles. So if I do this again, but with something like cotton or linen, I’d try this second recipe!

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try wonder blog natural dyeing tea recipe cover

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