How to Antique Fabric Using Tea or Coffee

by Heather Thorleifson


  • Tea, black or green
  • Coffee
  • Fabric (natural fibers only)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Have you ever wanted to make a sewing project look antique? One of the best ways to do that is to use tea or coffee to change the tone of the modern, super-bleached bright whites.

    Step 2

    Use black or green tea or coffee grounds. Here I'm antiquing some white cotton eyelet lace.

    Step 3

    Add boiling water and steep. Let it sit as long as you have time for, you won't be drinking this! You can use leftovers from the teapot or coffee carafe, as well.

    Step 4

    Wet the fabric before dying it, always. It allows the colour to penetrate the fibers better.

    Step 5

    I put the fabric in without straining the tea or coffee. Sometimes this can make it a bit mottled, but nothing very noticeable.

    Step 6

    Results! The green tea is very subtle, but it yellows the fabric slightly, just taking the edge off the white.

    Step 7

    Black tea is a very obvious sepia. I love this colour.

    Step 8

    The coffee is also pretty subtle, and lends a nice gray-brown to the fabric.

    Step 9

    I don't drink herbal or fruit teas, so I never have them in the house to play with. Do you? What colours can you get?