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May 13

Artist Date: Tea Dying and Bleaching

Artist Date: Tea Dying and Bleaching

One of the important aspects of Dressing Your Truth (DYT) is choosing the right colors to wear for your type. After I learned that I was a Type 3, I had a panicking realization: I had NO Type 3 clothes!

Thankfully, a friend gave me a suggestion for what to do with all my black and white items: tea dying and bleaching.

I searched Youtube and found some video tutorials. It looked easy enough, so I gave it a try.

First, I tried tea dying my whites. I filled a stock pot with water and brought it to a boil. Then, I added 20 bags of green tea (the cheap stuff, from the dollar store). I waited for the bags to steep, and then I added my clothes. I put a bowl with cans in it on top to weight the clothes down and keep them immersed in the liquid.

Tea Dying

Tea Dying

I left the clothes to soak for anywhere from one hour to overnight. The shades that I got from that ranged from a light canvas-colored cream to a darker tan. Any time an item didn’t look as good as I wanted, I threw it in with a new batch and dyed it darker until I found the best shade.

Tea Dying Results

Tea Dying Results

My next project was bleaching my black clothes. This was even more fun because I never knew what color I was going to get from each item.

I started by using the washing machine. We have a front loading machine. I put bleach in the bleach compartment, and then I started a load on high heat. I watched until the barrel was full and let it swoosh around for a little bit. I stopped the cycle before it moved on to “rinse.” Then, I let the clothes sit for about an hour. Then, I turned the washer back on and let it finish out the cycle.

My results from the washing machine were mixed. I liked the splashes of color, but it didn’t get all the black out. So, I moved on to the second method.

Black Clothes Before Bleaching

Black Clothes Before Bleaching

I took my clothes outside and laid them out. I had a spray bottle filled with bleach, and I began spraying the clothes. The color changed almost immediately. Instead of getting large swaths of color, I got spots.

I rinsed the clothes under the sink in cold water, and then I ran them through a regular wash in the washing machine.

These are my final results:

Bleaching Results

Bleaching Results

Fun factor: Artsy! No way to mess it up.

So, what do you think? Have you ever tried tea dying or bleaching before? Do you have any tips for this newbie?

Share your thoughts.

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