For our mantle this season, I wanted to use a pretty table runner I found. But the white in it was just too, well… WHITE! It was even whiter than my trim paint color! So I wanted to make it look aged and my thoughts immediately went to using tea! This isn’t a new trick. In fact, our grandmothers knew how to age textiles with tea!
How to Age Textiles with Tea
Here’s the step by step:
Brew a strong pot of tea. Use 1-3 large, family-size tea bags, depending upon the level of ‘aging’ desired. Let steep for 30 minutes or longer (you really want strong tea for this task). I just wanted a nice aged off-white, so I only used 1 large tea bag.
Update #1: After talking with many readers, I have also concluded that you can use coffee for this. It just might leave more of an odor. But if you want a deeper aging, coffee might be the way to go!
Fill your washer to the lowest setting with HOT water. I thought it best to begin with the textile already wet, so I put the textile in the water, agitated briefly and removed.
Pour in the carafe of undiluted brewed tea and agitate.
Add your textile and agitate for a few minutes. Then, if your machine has this setting, set on hand wash/intermittent agitating:
Turn washing machine back on and finish cycle. Dry your textile as you normally would.
Update #2: Also after talking to many readers, it was asked if this would work in a front-loader. I would not try it in a front-loading machine, but would in that case do this same technique in the kitchen sink. Be careful with porcelain – it could stain.
The difference is subtle, which is just what I was going for… an aged white look! Again, for a browner stain I would have brewed more tea bags for a more concentrated tea ‘dye’. Here’s a side-by-side before and after:
Here’s a snippet of our summer mantel:See the full post HERE.
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I hope this inspires you to beautifully age something in our life! Have a great week!