ArtistMum: Something to Dye For

Sometimes when you’re doing a project you find that a color that you thought was perfect really isn’t what you expected. Many times I use lace for my art journals or on other projects. I found a beautiful Cluny lace in my box of goodies that I was saving for a project and thought it shouldn’t be in a box anymore! So out it came 🙂
The color of this Cluny lace was perfect… antique ivory, which I love. But sometimes you have a super bright, white lace that is pretty, just not so WHITE! Solution? Dye it! Not diet! Who wants to do that. No, DYE the lace of course!
So here’s a mini lesson on dyeing lace very easily.

First, hand wash the lace you want to dye. That takes the sizing out of it and makes it ready to accept color.
Next step is to boil some water and make a cup of tea or coffee! Not for you! Well, maybe!
Tea and coffee are excellent for dyeing laces. Each one will produce a different shade of ivory, so it’s worth your while to try them out on a small piece of lace before you dye the whole bit for your project.


I made a little pouch for the coffee grinds as you can see in the photo. Just put some grinds into a coffee filter and tie it up with a twistee.
Leave the lace in the cups or bowls for a few minutes. The longer you leave the lace steeping, the darker the color. When you think the color is good, remove the lace, squeeze out the excess tea or coffee, and hang up to dry. You can press the lace if you want with an iron. That will ‘set’ the color.

You can see the difference in the colors better when the lace is bunched up.

And believe it or not, different teas will produce amazingly different colors. I used some berry teas on this abstract mother-child plaster sculpture I made awhile back. I just placed different wet tea bags on the areas I wanted color on and left them there for awhile, producing an array of browns and tans. It’s pretty neat what a simple tea bag can do, right?

And what can you do with all your newly dyed lace? You’ll see next time because today is my Birthday and I want to have a ‘ME’ day!



About artistmum

This entry was posted in art advice, art and IPad, art blogging, art processes, how-to, wedding dress and such and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ArtistMum: Something to Dye For

  1. Robert Bergman says:

    enjoy your me day! can’t wait to see what you do with your lace and other goodies. Barbara would love to join us on the road trip to fabric mecca…she can’t go until Thursday/Friday though.

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