How to Tea Dye Fabrics for a Vintage Look

Lace and white cotton fabrics with an ‘aged’ vintage look have always been viewed by collectors and designers as special and unique, with a number of them going the extra mile to look for vintage inspired fabrics, for instance, to sew wedding gowns, make table linen, or use for art and craft hobbies.

However, we know that genuine vintage fabrics are hard to find but nothing stops us from getting imaginative.

If the authentic is unavailable or impossible to find, you can get creative by tea staining fabrics but it's good to ensure you choose fabrics with classic weaves and textures like lace, brocade, embroidered velvet, or satin if you seek that genuine aged look.

The ‘Aged’ Fabric Look


That faded aged look peculiar to today's fabrics finds of the late 1800s to the mid-1900’s with an almost creamy ‘buttery’ hue were luxury materials of the time. Today, you'll still find treasures of such in bridal wear, blouses, other clothing, home d├ęcor items (table cloths, napkins, chair-back covers, beddings, linen, and comforters) that you find at estate sales, yard garage sales, and from online stores like eBay.com and Amazon.com.

If you have a passion for vintage stuff, including fabrics and apparel, here is a simple way to make them look vintage or antique.

Tablecloths, lace-edged pillowcases, a Victorian style wedding dress, a bridal veil? You can make whatever you desire. All you need is to buy some great fabric, cotton, voile, lace, or linen, and tea dye it to 'age' it.

Best Fabrics to Tea Dye


The best fabrics for this project are cotton-based textiles like lace and voile but you can also use plain fine cotton, satin, and such similar materials and as long as it is predominantly cotton, it will work well. And if you can’t find what you require at your local stores, look for it online at places like Fabric.com, MoodFabrics.com, or BestFabricStore.com


How to Tea Dye - Step by Step Guide

 

The colours that work best for tea dying are white, champagne, eggshell, or off-white fabrics.

What you Require for Tea Staining

You’ll need the following to give your fabric that perfect antique and vintage look.
  • Regular tea bags
  • 1 gallon of water to 2 yards (2 m.) of fabric
  • Vinegar
  • Salt

Staining Process
  • Boil 6 teabags per gallon of water.
  • Leave the tea to cool down until warm
  • Put the cotton cloth in the tea solution, and leave it in to soak well
  • If you require just a light staining, let it sit in the solution for 6 hours
  • For a medium stain, it’s good to let it soak in the solution for 12hours
  • If you want maximum staining, let it sit for approximately 24hours

In some cases, tea dyed materials will fade with consecutive washes, so if you want a longer staying power, you may want to use a couple more tea bags than suggested above. This will give you a darker tea solution, and thus a deeper shade.

If you want to avoid it getting washed out over a short period of time, steep the tea stained fabric in a vinegar/salt/water solution immediately after staining. Air-dry flat or dry it with a semi-hot iron. This will allow the dye to set perfectly and ensure it won't fade after your first couple of washes.




What You Can Make with Fabrics That Look Aged


You can get creative with this! Tea dye fabrics and make any of the following (and more) items:
  • Vintage bridal dress styles
  • Cathedral veils
  • Cloche hats
  • Bridal gloves
  • Lace tops and blouses
  • Embroidered jackets
  • Table linen and napkins
  • Chair covers
  • Lace collars
  • Necklace collars
  • Patchwork quilts 
  • Crafts

20th Century Inspired Toe Rings

Toe rings have been around for hundreds of years and been worn by both men and women, especially in Africa and Asia. They were worn for various cultural and traditional reasons, but certainly not as fashion accessories way back then.

In certain cultures and traditions of Africa for instance, young men wore rings on their big toe, supposedly for curative purposes. They also believed that wearing toe rings boosted their virility, and ascertained their masculinity.

And in Asia, notably India, women with toe rings on is symbolic of being married women. It serves as a mark of a change in status from being single to becoming married. It was and still is a common sight to see Asian brides adorn their toes with rings, on as many as four toes (except the little toe), and sometimes on both feet too!

In the western world, there is no symbolic interpretation or representation for wearing rings on your toes and they are only regarded as fashion accessories used to enhance, adorn and make the feet look feminine and pretty. Meaning they are worn simply as a stylish statement

It is not uncommon to find some men wearing a toe ring on a lone toe though.

Two Types of Rings


There are basically two types of toe rings, closed band and open-loops, however, most are made as open-loop rings for obvious reasons - they are easier to wear and are adjustable.

Unlike fingers that are long and slender, toes are short, sometimes chubby, scraggly, and even contorted. They can be expanded before slipping them on and tightened thereafter, to give a perfect clasp.

Which Toe?


Today, many women wear one lone ring on the second toe of the left foot. Though many others claim it's best to wear it on the second toe of the right foot, trendsetters wear theirs on the second toe of the left foot.

Best Ways to Wear Toe Rings


Most of us wear our toe rings for a long time and barely take them off but others will change their toes rings every day, ensuring it matches what they wear.

So, what’s the best way? Obviously, in order to show off your ring adorned foot, you’ll do good to wear footwear that exposes your toes.
  • Open toe shoes in general (except peep-toe shoes)
  • Slippers (slip-on)
  • Heeled sandals
  • Slip-on sandals
  • Lace-up sandals
And if you are at the beach or swimming pool, walk barefoot.



20th Century Style Toe Rings


Exquisite toe-ring designs that make statements are stylishly crafted and styled after 20th-century motifs and themes of swirls and figurines, fauna and flora, including inscribed bands and love themes. They come in semi-precious materials.



It’s always best to go for rings made from lasting materials like gold, enamel, brass, and silver because they last for years and are the type that’ll always make your feet look delicate and classy.


Gifts for Her - Vintage Inspired Intimate Lingerie

If you are a man in "romance mode", when it’s about gift giving time, this is for you.

Women love special gifts, especially if they are romantic presents. It makes them feel you are passionate and they like that.

Of course, there are beautiful romantic greeting cards with quotes that will melt her heart, but when you are deeply and emotionally attached to someone, finding the ideal gift to give isn't anywhere near ‘a breeze’.

Here is a tip. A woman is more likely to appreciate intimate gifts than men do, so if you are thinking of what’s best to give her and still don’t have a clue, think exotic lingerie. Not the usual run-of-the-mill kinds, but glamorous, feminine vintage-inspired undergarments that will make her feel special.


Whether she is 'rake' slim or plus size, an intimate gift is always one of the best presents to give.

So, if you are looking for a romantic present for your partner, forget chocolates. Forget a new toaster, exotic gourmet sweets, or a great perfume.

Yes, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but only if you can afford them! A beautiful dress is nice but nothing romantic or special about that. And none of them has an element of surprise.


Give her a unique gift that’s beautiful, sexy and intimate, something "for your eyes only" like chic vintage style lingerie that will really tickle her mind, something that will make her warm and “mushy” inside.

Recommended intimate lingerie gifts:
Bustiers and Corsets
Babydolls and Chemises
Garter Belts