Does coffee dyeing work on reviving faded black garments?
If you’re reading this, then you are probably familiar with the deep sigh of BLARGH that ensues when you notice how faded your black clothes are. You might even put your hands up in fists and yell UGH!!
Or maybe that is just me.
Either way, it’s annoying and a dilemma. You could ignore this, layer, or avoid wearing all black. It’s hard to get rid of those favorite pieces of clothing too.
I did NOT want to buy something for this project. I did try quite a few processes, you know, for SCIENCE!! I looked on Pinterest and did not find anything so trusty Google to the rescue!! This where I found the idea of using coffee.
I’m no stranger to eco dyeing and printing. I’ve been experimenting with it for a few years. Lots of fails and lots of wins. So coffee to me seemed a bit strange as I thought it would do better with browns, but hey the internet said it worked so let’s try for SCIENCE!!
I brewed up my strongest espresso in a french press and let it sit in it overnight. I was surprised. It helped quite a bit, but it was still faded. The pic is after the first try. Tried this again but sitting in espresso for three days and no change.
I tried putting it in a big pot with the same type of espresso and coffee and let it stew on medium heat for a few hours then sit for a few days — still, no change.
My last ditch effort was thinking I’d get crafty and use some of the knowledge I learned through ecodyeing. I applied a mordant this time. A mordant is applied so that the color sticks to the fabric. I knew whatever the manufacturer put on the shirt was long gone so the mordant should have no issues. The shirt is also mostly cotton.
After going through the mordant process, there was still very little change. I did look up organic items you can use to get black but never got around to trying those. There's a bunch on Etsy!!
In short, depending on the level of the fading on the garment, I’d say coffee dyeing is a flop if it's quite severe.
I might try again with other things in the future. Who knows!! However, I generally love my espresso too much to use it for this again.
If you’d tried any of these, let me know in the comments!! I’d love to know your experiences with coffee dyeing!!