Tea Dyeing Cotton Thread

Before I started stitching my first square I upended my fabric stash to look for linen. I have a not-so-secret love for linen. I love to wear it, love the weight and that very particular fluid crumpled look of it. I got it into my head that I want to stitch on linen and nothing else would do.

The only color of linen fabric I had on hand was light-ish purple, not quite lavender, with a bit of grey to it. The other idea I had was to make this first stitching tonal, which meant a pink or purple for the thread.

All of my purple threads were too dark, too contrasty with the linen. I dove into my bag of pink threads. I'm not a great fan of pink and the pinks I have are very much on the bright and light end of pink. Too dark of a color I can't fix, too light can work. I picked a color that lives on the same block as Pepto Bismol and those plastic spoons from Baskin Robbins and decided to tea dye it to make it a murky pink.

I did no special prepping, didn't wash my thread or mordant it. I found and empty pickle jar, filled a tea bag with black Lapsang Souchong (because it smells so gorgeous) and stapled it shut. I dropped the tea bag and thread into the jar, topped it with boiling water, capped it and let it sit overnight.

Because the nature of this project is fluid and fleeting, I'm not worried about the dye being permanent.

The result of the overnight tea dunk is lovely, like the pink was dragged through the mud - in the best possible way. It looks great with the purple linen.

Now (of course) I want to dye more things with tea, it casts the most wonderful brown. Has anyone dyed commercially prepped top with tea?