Tea Dying Lace

So the dress I am working on has a lace in a very subtle off white shade which was very hard to match with store bought trim. I found some pretty trim I wanted to use on the neckline and sleeves but it was a little too white and stiff to shape around the neckline. Here is how I made it work:
If you are only tinting trim or a small amount of lace use a clean bowl. Pans sometimes have flakes of burnt things in them that might come off with the hot water and stain your lace. I used a bag of Earl Grey tea. Pour in hot water and let the tea steep for a few minutes. Add some ice cubes to cool the water.
Dip your lace into the water checking every few seconds to see if you are getting the color you want. Don’t let it sit too long or the lace might get too dark.  Carefully remove the lace and blot it with a towel. Lay it flat to dry.
The bottom lace is the lace I was trying to match. It’s hard to get an exact match when dying lace but with practice you will get it right. Try only a small swatch first before you dip all your lace in the tea, then you will get an idea how long you need to let the lace steep. The top lace is what I started with and the middle lace is how it turned out after dying it. It’s very close to the main laces’ color.
This is the lace trim pinned to the neckline. It’s a tad bit darker but I think I am going to sew some pearls to it . I sort of like how it stands out a tiny bit. It looks like antique lace now. Also when the trim was still wet I shaped it around the neckline and it was so much more pliable than when it was dry.
I got this information from an out of print book which is known in bridal sewing circles as THE best book on bridal sewing and is available here: It just seems to keep going up in price. I hope they will reprint it.
  
The next day.. Well Maria came by and we both decided the lace was too dingy so I soaked it to get some of the tea out. Here is how it looks now:
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-McKenzie

Comments

  1. Danièle says

    This reminded me of when as a child they tell you how to fake old paper by crunching up your paper and dipping it into tea. We made fantastic pirate treasure maps with this paper.

    Would love to see what it will be like with the pearls 🙂

  2. fabriquefantastique says

    its looking great. I am trying to save this blog should I want to forward it to others….with appropriate links, of course.

  3. Sewcountrychick says

    Thanks so much and yes, Daniele I was also going to dye music sheets in tea and put them on the wall as wallpaper. Its on my long list of To- dos. Happy Pre Saint Patricks Day by the way!

  4. says

    Like you, I’ve experimented with dying lace. I’ve found that coffee results in a more yellowy/cream colour and tea results in a more pinky/beige tone. Sometimes I mix both to get desired results.