Katie’s shirts were starting to look pretty scruffy by the end of winter, half of them had stains and the other half were faded. I didn’t want to buy her a whole new set of shirts, being mindful about the production process of them. And I’d already blown through the budget of buying from organic and ethical brands. I would’ve gone op shopping but they all still fit her well so I decided to dye them. We used black tea and beetroot and it turned out amazing! And it was super easy. So here’s a little how-to.
- Old shirts, white shirts, whatever you like
- 2 beetroots
- 8-10 black tea bags or spoons of black tea leaves
- Elastic bands
- Place the clothes in a pot and cover completely with water, measuring the amount of water you put in the pot as you go. Measure out the vinegar to add 1 part vinegar for 16 parts of water. So if you added 1.6 litres of water, add 100mls of vinegar, etc.
- Cover the pot and simmer for about an hour.
- Cut the beetroot into small chunks and put it in a pot with about 3 cups of water. Cover and simmer until your clothes are ready to take off the heat.
- To get your tea dye ready, boil 3 cups of water, place your tea in a big bowl and pour the hot water over it. Strain or remove tea bags after about 15 minutes.
- Once the hour is up, strain your clothes and let them cool down.
- Tie your elastic bands on the clothes.
- Take the beetroot chunks out of the pot and put your shirt in it. Put some clothes in the tea too and leave them all for about 15 minutes.
- Take the shirts out, give them a good squeeze and hang them out to dry.
Done! If they smell pretty vinegary, you might want to give them a wash before wear. I haven’t had any trouble with staining other clothes but don’t take my word for it. If you’re worried, hand wash or wash separately, at least for the first wash.