Dyeing fabric with food colour is a safe and natural process to make an unique and colourful garments at home. It will also help you to hide stains and laundry accidents of your favourite garments. So, make a little arrangements and do this fun project yourself when commercial dyes are not available at hand or just for a holiday fun project with your family.
Food colours are non-toxic so it is safe for your hands and you can include your little ones in this procedure as it is completely a safe procedure. Obviously, the colour will not last as long as the other dyes. But you can give your fabric an extra life.
Things You Will Need to Dye Fabric of With Food Colour
- Mat or old towel
- Large bowl
- White a cotton T-shirt
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup salt
- Food coloring of two different colours
- Two squirt bottles
- Elastic rubber bands
- Plastic bag
- Hand gloves
How to Dye
At first, place your mat, or an old towel on a flat surface or floor. The mat will help you to avoid a mess. Using gloves and apron will save your hands and dress from the splash of colours. Then fill the large bowl with water and a half cup of white vinegar. If your fabric is small, use less water. Try to use natural fabric, a synthetic fabric may not take the food colour well.
The steps are given below-
Wet Your Fabric in Vinegar Water
Then wet your fabric in the vinegar water. Let it soak in the water for 15 minutes. Then remove the fabric from the bowl and squeeze it. Soaking your fabric before dyeing will give it an even dye.
Swirl It Like a Rose and Bind It With Elastic Bands
Now swirl the fabric in the centre like a rose. Then bind it with rubber bands. Binding with rubber bands will give your tie-dye a spiral pattern. You can also tie knots on the fabric or twist it up to get different tie-dye patterns.
Fill Two Squirt Bottles With Two Different Colours
Now take two squirt bottles and fill it with your favourite colours. Take ½ cup of water and 8-10 drops of food colour in each bottle. Put more drops of food colour, if you want a darker shade. You can do this job with a plastic bowl by mixing the colours in the water and soaking it.
Here the colours are very vibrant. Vibrant colours give a more charming look than the muted colours in tie-dyeing. Moreover, when you wash the fabric after dyeing, the colour will be lighter after washing. So, if you use a light colour, the final outcome will be even lighter.
Spray the Colours on the Fabric
Now spray the two colours on the fabric one by one. Turn the fabric over and squirt on the opposite side. In some area, you can spray both colours for a mixed colour.
Keep the Fabric in a Plastic Bag Overnight
Keep the dyed fabric in a plastic bag. And wrap it with another plastic bag and leave it for at least 8 hours. Keep it in such a place where it is not going to be disturbed at all! Keeping it for 8 hours can be seemed crazy to you. But don’t lessen the time in any way. If you can, let it sit for more time!
Take Out the Fabric and Wash It
Take the fabric out of the plastic bag and you will be amazed to see the result. But you are not done yet. Put the salt in some water in a large bowl. The amount of water should be enough to submerge the fabric fully. Stir it with a spoon to mix it with water completely. Then dip it in the water. It will help to set the dye. Then squeeze it again.
The last thing you have to do is to rinse the fabric with clear water. Rinse it until the water becomes clear. Always wash the dyed fabrics separately to avoid colour running onto other fabrics. The stitches on your fabric will cause uneven dyeing than the fabric. The colour can stain the bowl.
Then squeeze the fabric again and let it air dry. You can also use your dryer. Finally, iron the fabric. It is now ready to wear!
Thus, turn your plain t-shirts or any type of clothing to dazzling rainbows with food colours. The main benefit is you do not have to rush to buy a commercial product and spend money. All the equipment are already in your kitchen. So, arrange everything and go for it!
How to Dye Fabric with Tea
It is a fun project to dye your fabric with natural material which is available in everyone’s kitchen. With a little effort and almost no experience of dyeing, you will be able to give your fabric a vintage look hiding its light stains and dullness. All you need to know is to make a flask of tea!
Things you will need to tea dyeing
The necessary equipment all may be present in your kitchen. Just take a look.
- A big pot to cook tea
- Tea bags
You need a really big pot to allow your fabric to move freely to get an even dye. Use your cooking pot without any worry, because actually, you are making tea. It is totally safe and obviously non-toxic.
There are various types of tea from different brands. You can take black tea, green tea or fruit/flower flavoured tea for this purpose. Black tea is for cream (if you want a lighter colour, brown or dark brown (if you want a darker colour). Use green tea if you need for pale green or yellow colour. Fruit/flower flavoured tea will give your fabric pinkish or lavender colour. Here I have used black tea for a brownish look.
Check the Colour
If you want to check the colour first, boil a few tea bags to get an idea about the colour. Take it in a glass jar and brush the colour onto an unused fabric.
Toss the Tea Bag in Boiled Water
Open the packets of tea bags and remove them. Cut the strings with a scissor. Tie the tea bags together or toss them separately to swim in the water individually. Toss them when the water is fully boiled and it simmers. Fully soak them in water with a spoon.
Use tea bags according to your fabric length and desired colour. If you need a darker colour, use more tea bags. You will need 1 or 2 boxes of tea bags for a dress.
Remove the Tea Bags When You Get a Very Deep Colour
Let the tea bags leave colour in the boiled water and after several minutes remove them from the pot with a large spoon.
Wet Your Fabric With Water Properly in a Sink or Bucket
Now in the meantime, wet your fabrics in another large bucket or stainless steel sink with water. This will let your fabric take the dye evenly. And it will avoid getting patches and spots on the fabric.
Put Your Fabric in the Tea Dyed Water and Stir It
Now it is time to cook your fabric in the tea dyed water. Keep the heat low at that time so that it only simmers. You can also remove the pot from the stove as it stays hot for a long time. If you keep the fabric in boiling water, it can shrink. Put your fabric in the dyed water and let it soak the tea colour. Stir it with small intervals. If it is possible, stir it continuously to make sure an even dye throughout the fabric.
Let It Soak the Dye for 30-40 Minutes
Leave your fabric to take the dye for 30-40 minutes.
Check If You Have Got the Desired Colour
Now check if your desired colour has come. If not, there is no problem. Let the fabric stay a few more time in the dye bath. The more you keep it in the dye bath, the darker it will be.
Rinse Your Fabric With Water
Now it is time to wash your fabric to remove the excessive tea and flavour and from your cloth. Put it in the sink and rinse it with running water. Wear gloves if the fabric is hot. Continue washing it until the water is clear that means, the tea is completely gone. Then rinse it with cold water again to set the dye.
Now you are almost done. Just let your fabric dry. Keep it in the shower or bathtub or let it dry in the air in a hanger. You can also use your dryer to dry it. But drying in the air is better.
If you have more than one fabric to tea dye, you can do it in the used tea dyed water. And always wash the dyed fabric separately for the first time to avoid bleeding colour on the other fabrics.
So, you can see tea dyeing is as easy as making tea and staining your dress while drinking it. The only difference is, on one hand, you try to remove the stain, on the other hand, try to set it on your fabric!
How to Dye Fabric with Coffee
Dyeing with coffee is another easy way to do the dyeing process with just your kitchen items. You will
not need anything extra. Like tea, it will give your cloth a vintage colour. Your cloth will be looked more
like a rapidly stained cloth.
To dye with coffee you will need-
1.Dark roast coffee
2. Boiling pot
3. Fabric or yarn
Add Coffee and Water to the Boiling Pot
Take a pot for ‘cooking’ coffee. Add about a third of a cup of dark roast coffee with a whole lot of
water on top of it. You can take instant coffee also. The quantity of water will be such that your fabric or
yarn should be submerged completely in it. And obviously you will add coffee as you want the colour.
More amount of coffee will give you darker colour. Let it boil now. When it simmers, reduce the heat
and let it cook for about 30 minutes to get the dark chocolate brown out of it.
Filter the Coffee
You can leave it on the burner to keep the coffee as hot as possible, but the coffee shouldn’t be boiling
while you’re dying your fabric. Use a french press to filter out all of the coffee grounds.
Submerge Your Cloth
Once all the coffee grounds are filtered out, take a glass container and put your fabric in that. And pour
the coffee over it. The clothing should be fully submerged in that pot. If you want to dye a specific part
of the cloth, soak that part in the coffee. Stir the clothing with a spoon to remove any air pockets. The
full clothes or yarn should be in direct contact with the coffee.
Leave It for at Least 4 Hours
Then leave it for next four hours. You can leave it for overnight if you want a darker colour. Submerging
it for long time will give you better outcome.
Rinse the Fabric in Plain or Soap Water
After submerging it for that time, if you think you have not got the intended colour, soak it again in that
mixture. Heat the coffee again before re-soaking the item. Take out the item from the coffee and give it
a good squeeze to get any extra moisture out. You can look the pretty colour though it will be lighter
Rinse the item in cold water. You can use soap water instead of plain water. Then squeeze and shake it.
Rub it until all the extra coffee pigment comes out. Do not fear. It is not going to be white again. You
have definitely got the white fabric stained. But this is going to remove any of that excess so that you
don’t stain your clothes later and youdo not have any bleeding in the future or do not remove any of the
dye later in a way that you do not want it to come out.
Dry It for Five Hours
After you have rinsed it completely and the water is coming out clear when you squeeze your item.
Squeeze out the excess water and then lay it out to dry. Dry about five hours. When it completely dry
put it through a wash cycle with some detergent in your laundry machine. Do not wash it with other
clothes, especially with white clothes. Otherwise, it will stain them.
Now your item is ready for wear. The dark colour which you have got after soaking it in the coffee pot
has lighten surely, but you will like this light colour also. You can also tie-dye your t-shirt or any cloth
with coffee. The process of tie-dyeing with coffee is similar to the process of tie-dyeing with food colour
(which is discussed above).