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Qui-Gon Jinn : Outer & Inner Tunic Dyeing / Staining

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kdkdesign ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:07 pm    Post subject: Qui-Gon Jinn : Outer & Inner Tunic Dyeing / Staining Reply with quote

I'm sharing how I used Tea to Dye and Stain a set of Qui-Gon Jinn Tunics I was commissioned to make. The basic process was:
1) Wash and dry the fabrics to prep them for construction and dyeing
2) Make the costumes pieces
3) Dye and stain the completed parts so I can get the right weathered and stained looks on specific areas of the costumes parts
4) Wash and dry the pieces again to get set the dye and get the final puckering on the seams

I tried to insert the photos on here but it isn't working so please see my FB page album

For the Outer Tunic, I used natural silk noil for the main fabric and natural silk habotai for the lining. For the inner tunic, I used a natural hemp/organic cotton jersey knit that closely resembled the movie fabric (I didn't use silk knit as the only silk jersey I could find was too thin and too shiny).

The first thing I did was machine washed and dried all the fabrics to prep them for dyeing and make sure the fabrics were fully shrunk before I started making the garment parts. I washed the fabrics with a textile detergent specifically designed to prep naturals fabrics for dyeing (gets rid of grease, oils, and silk gum). Silks shrink a lot after washing so you want to be sure to pre-wash and dry them before cutting and sewing, and the drying helps with the weathered look of the fabric.

Then I constructed all the garments pieces: Outer Tunic, Tabors, Obi, and Inner Tunic. I may add in more about this later, but for now I'm focusing on the dyeing process. After making the garments, I used some of the scraps to test the tea dyeing.


To do the Dye Test- basically make some tea the concentration that you will be able to do for a much bigger bath (1-2 tea bags per couple cups of water). After the tea has set for awhile, immerse the fabric scraps (use scraps for each of your fabric types) in the tea for different lengths of time to see how dark the fabric gets. Let the fabric scrap dry completely to see the finally color. The length of time will depend on the type of tea you are using and the strength of the tea bath. The first swatches I made, I left them in for too long and were too dark. My tea was strong enough - and the fabric color I was trying to get was just a bit darker than the base color, so it only took less than a minute to get the new base color I needed.

To Dye the Costume Pieces, I made a bathtub's worth of tea using the same concentration (tea bag: water quantity ratio - you're going to need a LOT of tea bags). You can use hot water to brew the tea, but the tea bath does not need to be hot to dye the fabric. In fact the longer the tea sits, the darker is gets and the darker it will dye/stain. Remove the teas bags before dyeing. Dyeing in a bath tub allows you to lay the garments pieces in the tea bath easy and evenly without having to bunch up the pieces. DO NOT empty this tea bath until you are sure you are happy with the final garment look and are done dyeing.


To dye the base layer color, I immersed the garment pieces in the tea dye bath for the same length of time I used for my final test swatches (less than a minute). I did not rinse the fabric out but did ring out the extra tea water.

To stain the parts of the garment darker to replicate the weathered and sweat-stained look, I dipped just those parts in the dye bath for longer (3-5 minutes for me). Then I let the pieces hang to dry. Once the pieces were dry, if those parts weren't dark enough, I stained them again until I was happy with the final look.

You can order is set of tunics and the wool crepe brown robe on my etsy shop.
Outer Tunic:
Inner Tunic:
Wool Crepe Robe:
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