Dyeing fabric with coffee is a technique used when you want to make your fabric look primitive. It makes muslin and calico fabrics look antiqued. The longer your fabric sets in the coffee mixture, the more stain it becomes. How to dye fabric with coffee is a lot like how you dye fabric with tea. But, the color results are slightly different. One of our community members has been using this recipes for her own primitive dolls for many years. By the way, I updated this tutorial in November, 2018 to make it more user friendly.
Recipe for Dyeing Fabric with Coffee
This is s basic stain you can use on all your cloth primitive craft projects. This method of how to fabric with coffee is a stay-on method, meaning the dye mixture remains on the fabric. Alternately, some are left for a certain time, then rinsed out. This one will make your fabric more antiqued and grubby looking. Therefore, if you like a really primitive look, this recipe is for you.
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- muslin or cotton print fabric, washed and dried
- A large bowl
- Wood spoon
- 4-5 cups water, heated to boiling
- 1/2 cup instant coffee
- Vanilla extract, a few dashes
- 5-7 small cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 nutmeg, slightly grated
- 2-3 nutmeg
- Small handful of whole cloves
- Small sponge brush
- Carefully fill the bowl with hot water.
- Add in the coffee and vanilla.
- Mix will until coffee is dissolved.
- Gather spices into a piece of cheesecloth and tie closed with string, into a ball shape.
- Push the spice ball under the coffee mixture with your wooden spoon. And, leave it with the spoon holding it down for at least 30 minutes.
- Take out the spice bag. (Set it in a sunny window to dry out. It can be used a couple more times.
- Layout your fabric on a protected surface, and brush on the mixture over your fabric.
- Let the fabric dry in a sunny area until dry.
Dyeing fabric with coffee varies in method. Some use brewed coffee and soak the fabric. The longer it’s soaked, the deeper the color you get. I recommend you try a few methods with small pieces of fabric until you find the one you like the most. However, this one is easy one and get you excellent results to use for primitive dolls and home decor. And, remember, with all dye projects, wear protective clothing you don’t mind get messy.