Tea Dying?

I’ve got several dozen left-over hanks of Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks. I’ve looked through Pro Chemicals at some of their Sandstone or Neutrals as I want to change my bright off-white yarn to something more subtle for cabling. Has anyone ever done any tea dying? I’m looking for earthy and natural without getting overtly solid tones which is what I’m afraid a commercial dye will give me.


Not sure how much help this will be. I recently made a scarf for my soon-to-be-16 niece from off-white cotton. Boring color. (Plus I was planning to weave a novelty yarn for interest.) Brewed up sage into a thick tea, then steeped the scarf in it, at simmer, for 30+ mins. Would’ve loved if it had remained the rich brown of the tea but after all the cool rinses, it was a soft dusty loden. Interesting, subtle. No clue how the color will hold up but given it’s a scarf, and with the novelty yarn, I sugg my niece only rinse in cool water, with mild detergent, if necessary.

As point of ref, the color reminded me of those in the Lion Organic line.


I’ve soaked 100% wool in tea and it came out a lovely earthy brown. I used cheapo plaino tea. Don’t try coffee. If the beans or grinds don’t dissolve they stick to the yarn and will NOT come off. I have a yucky old pan I used, just plopped the yarn and tea bags in let it soak in hot water for a good long time 20-30 minutes, let it sit till cool, rinse. So far the color hasn’t run. Good luck:waving: