I don’t know about you, but recently I discovered that my satisfaction from my clothes just evaporated. I decided to start making them more beautiful, via clothes paint, transfer printing or badges, or distressing. And recently I’ve been thinking about dying a couple of T-shirts I own. But dyes are hard to get where I live… so I decided to use an ingredient I already had and loved. And here, I mean coffee. If you have a cotton T-shirt, you can substitute coffee for dyes to create a pleasant brown color! This process is quick and relatively simple. It’s also eco-friendly, so if you have a small business, you could try getting a couple of wholesale t shirts and go green. Or brown!
Brew some coffee, depending on how dark you would like the clothes to be – use a light roast and a spoonful or two for a light brown color, and four spoons or darker roast for darker browns.
For dyeing, use any old pot filled with water. It must be large enough to completely submerge the t-shirt or your wholesale t shirts. Pour the brewed coffee into the pot of water, and bring the mixture to boiling. Mmm, I think you’re quite awake now. Turn the heat off as soon as it reaches a full boil. Toss the shirt into the pot when the coffee stopped bubbling. Stir it around with a wooden ladle to eliminate any air pockets. The T-shirt needs to be steeped in coffee for a decent amount of time – an hour would be enough. Remove it from the dye and rinse it thoroughly under cold water.
You’ll know when you get rid of the excess coffee: when the water running through the shirt will be clear. You can repeat this if the shirt is not brown enough. When you see the perfect shade of brown, soak the shirt in cold water, maybe with a drop of vinegar. Wash the shirt and clean the pot.
Alternatively, you could even tie dye your shirt in coffee. I wish I knew this in high school, I’d have the most original designs for pennies. The process is similar, but you don’t need a pot – instead put the coffee in squeeze bottles. Prepare the shirt using rubber bands, making a rolled up, circular pie, and dye the sections with coffee. You could use different blends for different shades of brown. Place the tumbled up shirt in a sealed container for 24 hours.
I’m going to try it before Halloween, maybe I’ll go as a coffee filter!