Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tea Staining

My Easter dress this year was actually my bridesmaid dress for Trent's sister's wedding. I was the only bridesmaid so K'Lee and I just went to Dillard's and she said "pick one." Super easy, got a dress I loved and can totally wear again. Sad that it took me about two years to actually wear it again. :-/ Anyway, I decided to wear it for Easter but didn't think I should wear a strapless dress to church so I went shopping for a shrug or wrap of some sort. The dress has ivory colored trim on the bodice and an ivory lace hem so I was looking to match that color, but only found a white white little sweater shrug. (Ok, ok I didn't actually look that hard) Here it is with the skirt flipped up to show the ivory vs. white. Love that hemline detail.

Not a terrible mis-match I suppose since they are all light colors, but I wanted it to match better. So, I decided to tea stain the shrug. I would have been scared to death of completely ruining it but I kept assuring myself that it was only $10 and I could easily go get another one if I had to. I think tea staining is meant more for pillow cases, handkerchiefs, and things that you want to make look antique and put on display, rather than garments that will go through the wash regularly. But this is kind of a one time little shrug that will probably just go with this dress, so oh well. After some googling and a consultation with my sister Sarah who has stained, dyed, altered, mended and created a multitude of garments (she made her own prom dress, yup), I began my adventure, albeit a little bit nervous.

Step 1: Wet your garment/item with water.
(sorry for the vicadin bottle in this pic, we have random Trent broken arm stuff around the house)

Step 2: Make tea. Let it steep for longer or shorter depending on how dark you want it to stain.
Easy enough, so far so good.

Step 3: Remove tea bag and put your item in the tea. Aaaah, was freaking out at this point and Trent heard some squealing coming from the kitchen.

Step 4: Stir. Make sure all parts of the item get a good dose of tea.

Ok, side note. At this point I was really freaked out because it looked SO dark in the tea and not much lighter when I pulled it out to look at it periodically. Yikes! But I knew that rinsing was ahead and that it could be somewhat reversed/lightened if needed (will get to that momentarily).

Step 5: Rinse.

At this point I was again disheartened because it just looked...dirty. Ew. It looked stained, and not antique, ivory stained. More like "I spilled tea all over my garment." Hmm. I showed it to Trent, still damp and crinkled, and asked him what he thought. Being a boy, he didn't say a whole lot. That's ok. I still had options. Sarah (or Google, I can't remember) had told me that you must rinse but you can always just run it through the washing machine with detergent if it ends up too dark, or even bleach it if you want to go back to where you started. So I ran it through the washer with some socks.

Step 6: Run through dryer.
I don't have a picture of this part, but you have to run it through the dryer so the heat with basically set the stain. You know all the clothes with actual, unwanted stains that have "been through the dryer" therefore the stain is more set and less hopeful of being removed? This is that very process...except you want the stain to set in this situation.

When it came out of the dryer, I was very encouraged. It was still pretty wrinkled but it appeared to be approximately the right color! I ironed it a bit and put it with the dress and ta-da, success!

Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011

I guess I can check tea staining off my imaginary list of things to try!

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