A totally unscientific experiment…..Posted: July 23, 2012
….. but it’s fun!
You need a tea bag and a piece of silk, if you haven’t any silk, just try with what you have, maybe an old handkerchief for example. This is for fun, and as the title says, totally unscientific! I’m only using a small piece of fabric, it’s about 8 x 11 inches. I’m demonstrating with a fruit tea bag, but it can be any sort – it’s an experiment.
You can either use the bag as it is, or open it up and pour out the contents
– spread them out if you like, then….
….roll it up into a little package, tie it – but not too tightly – just enough to hold it all together.
Now you want a container. The rule is that you NEVER use a container that will be used for food, so choose something like a supermarket container (an ice-cream container would work maybe) that will hold hot water. The vessels that I use are all dedicated solely to dyeing – even if I use a cup or a jug.
Pop your parcel in and boil the kettle
Pour enough boiling water onto the parcel, until it is covered CAREFUL, IT’S HOT!
Now let it sit until it’s cold (you can turn it, move it around, poke it etc if you wish, I don’t want to spoil your fun!
When it’s cold, carefully transfer the package to a grip – seal (ZipLock) bag and add 1tsp vinegar (white vinegar if you have it – if you only have malt or similar I don’t think it will matter – this is unscientific and for fun, remember?!)
Add some or all of the liquor from your steeping and put it somewhere warm. This is hanging in the sun for a time, I’ll move it into the house before nightfall.
Now all you have to do is wait…..
….. for about 24 hours
Then, carefully remove your parcel, unwrap and see what has happened. Carefully rinse in cool water, then iron it dry. Make sure that the heat of the iron is appropriate for your fabric
This is the result from the above technique, using a tea bag that was left whole.
No results are guaranteed, but you can always start again with a different sort of tea bag! If you have a go please let me know. You can leave a comment below, and a link to your experiment. I’d love to see it.