You may recall (scroll down if you don’t) that I was having trouble finding a good variety of rustic beige prints and plaids for my scrappy 9-Patch quilts. Some of the shirts and fabrics I picked up were a little more white than I wanted, so I used a good old fashioned tannin bath for darkening them. It wasn’t complicated: I put 8 or 9 tea bags into a pot full of water, tossed in the fabrics and let it simmer. Then I rinsed the fabrics. And rinsed them. And then I threw them into the washing machine and dryer. After that, I ironed them. I assure you.. that color is set.
I did not dye every piece of those fabrics; I will use some of each fabric in its original condition and some of it dyed.
Yes, I have heard that the tea will cause my fabrics to start to deteriorate in 35 or 40 years. I also read that coffee won’t cause any problems for at least 75 years, but now that I have a Keurig coffee maker, I didn’t have any coffee grounds available for experimentation.