Antiquing Fabric

Coffee & tea dyes are an easy way to add a bit of vintage to your otherwise new fabric.

I was gifted a bag of ribbon remnants and decided to make a doily dreamcatcher. I want the dreamcatcher to look vintage so I’m going to tea dye the ribbon.

Coffee & tea are great alternatives to commercial dyes and better for the environment not to mention cheaper!

Lets get brewing!!

Tea: After brewing a pot of tea for myself I used the large tea bag a second time.

  • Boil the tea bag in a pot of water on the stove.
  • Remove from heat and let steep until the tea is extra strong and the temperature is luke warm.
  • Add ribbon and submerge fully in the tea.
  • Soak to desired tint, at least a few hours or overnight.
  • Rinse the cloth in cold water.
  • Hang dry or dry on low heat.
  • Repeat steps if you want a darker shade.

Coffee: I usually brew a concentrated pot of coffee and pour it over my fabric in a large pot on the stove. Or try concentrated espresso powder. Simply dissolve in hot water and let the fabric soak overnight.

Hint: Use a bit of vinegar to set the stain. I usually stain cloth I don’t wash regularly so I skip this step. The smell usually dissipates, but you can hand wash in woolite if you prefer.

Ribbon before and after tea dying!

Natural fibers will take the dye better than synthetics which is why you see the different shades in this mixed bag of ribbon.

Come back soon for the doily dream catcher DIY!

Join my Facebook group Coffee Craft and share your DIY!



  1. I think tea and coffee dyes looks better than their commercial counterparts. I usually only dye cotton or linen smocks for Elizabethan costumes this way, so I don’t try to set the colors. It lasts nicely in those fabrics anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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