Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tea Dye For: Redwork

Back in 1998 when I picked up crewel & embroidery after a 15 year hiatus from needlework, I started using water & air soluble transfer pens to draw or copy patterns on to cotton. I stopped for a few reasons. 1.) They are not free & I have lots of pencils lying around. & 2.) Why would I use a pen or marker on my fabric when I know they aren't pH balanced? Then I found this & I have never gone back to using them again.

That being said, I do have some orphaned redwork blocks lying around waiting to be included in a project. Some of these blocks are from the time before I used pencil. &, yes, they were discolored, possibly due to the blue transfer pen. Oh, what to do...

The answer: tea dye them!

I used loose tea, but tea bags are just as effective

Brew the tea with hot water, but steep longer than you would for your cuppa

Discolored redwork blocks I decided to tea dye

Pour the brewed tea on the blocks using a clean baking dish
I placed block upon block in the dish and added more tea as needed

Tea dyeing in progress

Squeezing out the hot tea. Cold tea can be used for a less intense color.

Rinsing the blocks with cold water
After rinsing, the blocks head to the dryer for 30 mins.

Fresh from the dryer

Tea dyed blocks made into small pillows.
Tea dyeing is a pretty simple process. You can use other teas for different colors or browns, pinks & yellows.

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