Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Tutorial with the OFG Team

Tony of Redbudprimitives brought up a great question on our forum about coffee or tea staining fabric.

“Our first couple of attempts at coffee staining was not successful, the material was barely stained if at all...If that was my favorite shirt and it poured out of my cup it would have been ruined. My question is should the fabric be machine washed before we try to stain it?
Thanks y'all. Tony

Here were the responses and Ideas on how to stain fabric: 

Prewash & dry fabric to remove any starches.  Soak in hot coffee and add instant coffee for a darker effect.  I add mulling spices and vanilla to make the product smell sweet and not coffee-ish.  Soak until the water is luke warm.  Wring out excess coffee water and dry in the sun. (I live in Texas- nature's eternal oven!)   If I want to add age or extra grunge I rub the fabric down with instant coffee and cinnamon.

I usually keep adding coffee until I get the right color.  I never wash the material first.  Sometimes you just have to stain it more than once. 

When I tea dye my fabric the amount of tea I use depends on how dark it is. I use instant tea, (just make sure it is sugar free).  If I tea dye it and after it is dry if it is not dark enough I just do it again with a darker solution until it looks like I want. I also found out that if you hang it out on a sunny day it dries with a more even look. The oven will dry the two sides’ two different colors if you do not turn the item often, the side that faces down will be lighter.

I have found that if you dampen the fabric first in cold water, it will help the fabric absorb the stain. I use only Instant coffee and add little cinnamon and Almond or Vanilla extract to the mixture (smells yummy). Then it's into the oven at 225 degrees.

I tea stain mine and I don't wash them first. I use tea bags and leave the towels in as long as it takes to get the shade I want. I have found out that it depends on the towel you use also. I use 100% cotton flour sack towels and sometimes I even run into some of those that just don't want to stain at all.

I use the instant coffee.  The more scoops the darker, with vanilla, cinnamon, and ground cloves also add a darker color. I also line dry my fabric, and try not to wring it too much.

I never wash my fabric either I use instant coffee, vanilla, and sprinkle cinnamon into my mixture

I don’t always wash my fabric first, but I've found that baking it in a low temp oven helps the staining process. I set it at 210 degrees. I spray the tea stain on and squeeze out the extra.

I don't use coffee....I use vanilla and cinnamon, however, the question can be answered the same regardless. If using cotton, muslin, or osnaburg fabrics you really shouldn't have a problem. Some materials do need to be washed (sizing chemicals in them) and I usually just go by how stiff they feel. Sounds like you might need to make your coffee/stain mix a bit stronger. Use a 3:1 ratio and add some cinnamon and vanilla (imitation is good!) to it! Some people sunbake and some oven bake to set the staining.  

Sounds like ya'll are kinda stingy on the cinnamon!  I use a LOT ....at least a couple of tablespoons...so there's plenty of sludge. The gooey bit really makes 'em good and grubby.
1 Cup of water to 5 Tbsp instant coffee, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, vanilla extract (optional)
Heat the water just to boiling, remove from heat and add other ingredients.
The cinnamon, when added to the hot liquid, makes a wonderful grungy sludge that makes your creation look its primitive best!

Multiply to make larger batches if needed. Use the cheapest ingredients possible. If you use vanilla, the imitation works fine. We’re going for aroma, not taste! You can use more cinnamon if you want more sludge. I think the sludge is the best part. =) (You may want to wear gloves for this procedure)

I. Techniques for getting the desired level of grubbiness:
Sponge or paint the coffee stain onto your creation. For a lighter stain use only the liquid part of the mixture. A light going over with a piece of sandpaper, once dry, will give it a smooth appearance.
You can air dry your creation or bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 250* - 300* for a few minutes until dry, watching closely so it won’t burn! I also turn mine several times while baking to prevent a crusty spot from forming where the piece touches the baking sheet. If you are satisfied with the look at this point, you can proceed to the next step. If I am going to paint my piece, I do it at this point. If you want a grubbier look, paint on some sludge and bake in the oven as explained above. To go extreme grubby, apply stain with plenty of sludge, bake until deep brown. I generally dab on the paint in an uneven manner and then smear it around after giving it a few seconds to begin drying. It gives a more worn appearance.

Sand the piece with a fine grit sandpaper and repeat process to distress even further. A little scorching can even be a good thing! (Do watch closely, it CAN go too far. I’ve made a few crispy critters)
Many times the cinnamon will dry leaving the surface of your ornament looking grainy. You can also apply a spice mixture at the end to add more texture and aroma. Mix a little cinnamon with whatever spices you like and sprinkle on. Some you might consider are allspice, ginger, cloves or nutmeg.
The look is quite variable and the final appearance is all up to you!
Kim V.


Nanna said...

lots of great tips, one great thing about grunging is either way you choose it all works!

Linda Welcome said...

What a fabulous Tutorial. I am so Bookmarking. Thanks everyone. I had NO idea how to do this...I thought everyone just threw their things in a mudpuddle!

Vicky said...

Super tips!

Colleen said...

Amazing all the different ways people coffee/tea stain their fabrics. Thanks for sharing this. :)