Can You Dye Acrylic Yarn With Tea?

Acrylic yarns are made from natural fibers like wool, and cotton is created from man-made or semi-man-made fibers. Acrylic yarn is cheap and the best yarn for your crocheting projects.

The exciting thing about acrylic yarn is that you can dye them to spice up the colors to make your project come out nicely. Tea is a natural, non-toxic dye used for acrylic yarn.  The dye would only produce a dull tea color. A  bright color requires you to try out other methods used in dyeing yarn.

400;”>Acrylic yarns being dyed with tea may sound impossible, but this article will give a detailed description and a definite answer to all your questions. 

Can You Dye Acrylic Yarn With Tea?

Yes, You can dye acrylic yarn with tea. The same dyeing methods used for food dyes can also be used for acrylic. People use dye-based plants, and most dyes are also from plants. 

Tea dye is a good dye for acrylic yarn. The colors will, however, fade quickly, but fading can be avoided by adding many tea bags to the water. A pressure cooker will be an added advantage in getting your desired result.

How to Dye Acrylic Yarn With Tea?

When done correctly, dyeing with tea will seep into the yarn and make the fibers brown. 

These steps will guide you on how to get the perfect color for your yarn.

1. Prepare the yarn for dyeing

The first step is to prepare your yarn to prevent them from tangling. Wrap the yarn over your skein reeler. You can divide the yarn into three places to avoid tangling. This process allows the dye to seep into the yarn.

Pre-wash your yarn before this process to soften the yarn, which allows the dye to stick well to your yarn.

2. Time For Mordant

The mordant makes the dye stick with the yarn even after being washed. Without the mordant, the dye will fade or even wash away.

Alum can be used to dye acrylic yarn. Six tablespoons of alum will do for each yarn. Black tea also contains tannin, which can also represent the mordant. Soak the yarn in the alum for a few minutes.

P.S: The kitchen utensils you use for food should not be used for dyeing.

3. Heat the water with a kettle or microwave.

 Heat the water with a big pot containing your fabric. Turn on the heat and let the water boil.

4. Ensure the water temperature is suitable for dyeing

The water temperature should be hot to brew out the dye. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure the water is ideal for dyeing your fabric. 

The standard degree for dyeing is between 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Add the dye to the water.

Put your tea bag in the water to simmer. You would see changes in the color. 

6. Check the color

Check to see the color of the water. This depends on how dark and light you want your yarn to come out.

You can add more water to lighten or add more tea bags to darken the shade of the yarn.

7. Add the Acrylic Yarn

 Add your yarn to the boiling pot and let it absorb the dye. Remove the pot from the fire and leave the yarn to cool at room temperature. Sun dry or air dry the yarn after rinsing to see how beautiful the color is.

8. Remove The Yarn From The Water

Remove the yarn from the dyed water and rinse it in clean water. Sun dry or air dry your yarn and store it in a cool place.

For dyeing small acrylic yarn with tea, you only need to add yarn to the tea to microwave for about 3-6 minutes, giving the same result as the one boiled.

What Kind Of Tea Do You Use To Dye Fabric? 

I recommend black tea for your dyeing process because it contains a high level of tannin which means you can tea dye without using alums, tin, or chrome.

How Long Should I Leave Yarn In Tea?

How long you should leave your yarn in the tea dye depends on how dark you want the color.  You can leave it for a week or three hours after the dyeing process.

Is Tea Dye Permanent?

Yes, tea dye is permanent. Rinse the yarn till the water is clear to avoid bleeding in the future.

Can I use Coffee To Dye My Acrylic Yarn?

Several methods are used in dyeing acrylic yarn, and coffee is one of them. Using coffee to dye your acrylic yarn can be ineffective because the color will turn out dull and fade quickly.

You can use coffee grounds and ground coffee for natural dyeing. Spent coffee grounds contain moisture that must get dried before you attempt storing them. You can also mix coffee with other dyes to create beautiful colors.

However, if you want to dye your yarn with coffee, try using the dispersing method. The dispersing process is not difficult; you can follow these steps to get your desired result.

  • Mix a cup of water with ¼ teaspoon of dispersed dye. This depends on how thick you want the color to turn out. For a lighter color shade, one cup of water and half a spoon of the dispersed dye will do.
  • Dissolve the coffee in water.
  • Submerge your yarn in the coffee mix.
  • Avoid rinsing the yarn after adding coffee—just sundry.
  • Prepare your dye baths for the process. You can decide to use ground coffee or coffee ground.

Coffee can also last longer if you dye it properly. All you need to do is wash the acrylic yarn so the dye can enter into the yarn. This would also help in removing chemicals in the yarn.

The coffee dye needs some alum as a mordant because they do not contain tannin like black tea. A sounding warning to avoid using metal-based pots to avoid damaging your yarn.

How Many Tea Bags Do I Need To Dye My Acrylic Yarn?

The amount of tea bags needed depends on your desired color. You use  6 or 10 tea bags for a lighter shade. You can add more tea bags to your dye mixture to get your desired color.

Why Should I Dye with Tea and Coffee?

Tea and coffee are eco-friendly ways of dyeing your yarn, fabric, and paper. Tea dying before evolution was used to hide stains on tablecloths, aprons, and dish towels. This method is still helpful as you can use the tea dye to hide stains in your yarn or fabric.

Dyeing with tea is pocket friendly. You don’t need to stress yourself before dying clothes. Coffee and tea are accessible materials to come in contact with.

How to Dye using Tea or Coffee with Cold Water.

You can also try out dyeing with cold water. Dyeing with cold water will, however, take time and patience. It would help if you were patient for the tea bag to form its colors fully.

  • Prepare your cold water.
  • Insert the tea bags
  • Leave to brew to its color for a day.
  • Insert your yarn and let it sit for a day. This is after prewashing to make your yarn soft.
  • Sun dry your yarn.

How To Soften My Acrylic Yarn With Vinegar And conditional?

Softening the acrylic yarn is essential before dyeing. The acrylic yarn is hard and needs to be softened. You can ease your yarn through different methods. I will discuss vinegar and conditional.

To soften your yarn with vine gear, follow the following steps;

  1. Add one tablespoon of vinegar to cool water
  2. Soak the yarn in the solution for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the vinegar to dry the yarn.

How to soften your yarn with conditional.

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water.
  2. Put your yarn in the water. 
  3. Add conditioner
  4. Let it sit for a while
  5. Rinse the project and dry


Acrylic yarn can be dyed with tea or other plant-based dye. Dyeing takes time, and you must be patient and follow the steps to get your desired result. You can try dyeing with tea on your fabrics, which works well with cotton, wool, and other materials.

Dyeing your acrylic yarn with tea is safe because they don’t have chemicals that can cause health issues. It is also an eco-friendly way of dyeing.