So I decided I would try tea dyeing for the first time. I have dyed before, but not with tea. Why not? It is, after all my favorite beverage!
I had some old American Twinings lying around that I knew I would never drink so, the adventure was afoot!
In addition to the shirt, I added a pair of white gloves and a garter belt, both of which I felt might get more use if they were cream instead of white. I washed them all in clear water.
"Steam rises from a cup of tea
and we are wrapped in history,
inhaling ancient times and lands,
comfort of ages in our hands."
~ Faith Greenbowl
I did have to forcibly stop my father from dipping a hopeful mug into the tea bath! Since there was a cup of salt in as well, it would not have been a pleasant experience. His comment was, "What a waste." There is some truth to that.
About 10 minutes in I began to see some discoloration and staining in the arm pits of the shirt and the fingertips of the gloves but proceeded willfully along. (The thing about salt is that it's a fixer, including the salt produced by your own body.) I simmered in the tea for about 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Nice to have the house smell like tea instead of dye chemicals for once!
Rinse and result! Sorry the photo isn't great, turns out I was dying the fabric the same color as my floor! The shirt (muslin) was somewhat stained under arms and in a few creases on the torso, the gloves (cotton) were badly and unattractively stained (chucked em), but the garter (polyester) came out beautifully. I'm so used to polyester bring the difficult one!
All in all I liked the color: a little more rose than a standard cream. And how did it work with the outfit? You be the judge.
I'll do more blogging on this outfit once it comes completely together and gets more steampunk. I have plenty of time. I'm thinking its maiden voyage will be at TeslaCon this November.