Many people know about tea dyeing: using strong tea to dye paper and fabric, giving them an aged-looking patina. Fewer people know coffee can be used the same way, though it gives a richer, darker color. Use coffee to dye things brown rather than give them an aged look. The result will be a rich, warm hue. Coffee and other natural dyes are especially useful in dyeing area rugs and carpets.
Things You'll Need
- Natural fiber area rug
- Large plastic tub
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Dye only natural fiber rugs. Synthetic fibers like polyester and rayon have some of the same properties as plastic and won’t soak in the color. Wool, cotton and linen are more porous and will wick up almost anything. Wash your rug before dyeing to ensure even color.
Brew a full pot of very strong coffee. Make the coffee twice or three times as strong as usual. Remove from heat and allow it to cool until it's warm instead of scalding hot. Pour it into a plastic tub large enough to hold your rug.
Fill your coffee pot with clear water and mix it with the coffee in the tub. Scoop a little coffee into a clear glass to look at the color. If it is too dark, add another pot of water. Make sure the water is warm. Warmth enhances the color and encourages the rug to soak up liquid.
Gently lay the rug into the coffee solution. Poke it into the coffee until the entire rug is submerged. Soak the rug for about an hour, remove it from the coffee and rinse it with cool water. If it has not reached the desired darkness, soak it for another hour or until it reached the color you prefer.