Wednesday, April 6, 2011

greencraft: inspiration & more from a tea bag

I love coffee and I love tea -- lattes or americanos and loose or bagged. I think a hot mug of something helps me to not graze all day long.  Usually I tear the staple and/or string off a used tea bag and toss it in the compost. But I saw a dress made out of tea bags in a magazine a few weeks ago so I've been saving and drying out my tea bags ever since I saw that dress. Not that I'm going to make a dress. Here's a run-down.

I prefer opening a dried-out tea bag rather than a wet one. If stapled, the edges of the little staple need to be bent up so the staple will come out without tearing the paper. All tea companies that use a half-knot to attach the string instead of a staple deserve a big hand.
 
I didn't realize a tea bag was folded so many times. Tea bags are made with a blend of wood and vegetable fibers-- the vegetable fiber is bleached pulp of abaca hemp, a small plantation tree grown for the fiber, mostly in the Philippines and Colombia (that's straight from Wikipedia).

This is what happens with a skylight overhead -- look how the color changes from here . . .  

. . . to here -- just seconds after the previous photo -- a cloud must've floated by. Anyway, I'll still be composting the spent tea plus I'll have gained a little pile of tea-stained 3" x 5" or so papers. I don't know what to do with them, but I do know how a tea bag is folded now.

A Yogi Tea inspiration.


11 comments:

deanna7trees said...

i've used tea bags in collages in the past and stamped designs on them. can't wait to see your tea bag dress. do you know what type of paper it is. or is it a cellulose fiber? think i might try dropping some tea bags in the dye and see what happens. do you see what you started?

liniecat said...

Well yes they come ready stained which is great isnt it! But I wont make a dress either lol
Id have to gather them from cafes all round our town to get enough and then spend a week unpacking the dried tea!
I have used them in collages though and do like the stained effects you get.
Infact I started buying herbal teas to see what different colours Id get, then found I liked several of the teas ...imagine! Bonus! lol

woman with wings said...

Deanna -- they're a blend of wood and vegetable fiber. Oh, yes, they're a great little size to dye with, aren't they? Each one is like a blank slate. I'm not going to make a dress though. I don't know what yet . . . they remind me of dryer sheets but I like tea bags better.

woman with wings said...

Lyn, I bet you could find some really nice colors -- like a hibiscus tea blend would be reddish-orange, hmmm, you've got me thinking now. Wow!

I was wishing they could be more cloth-like but there's not one iota of give in that weave. Unless I used elastic thread to sew them together!

Notjustnat said...

Isn't it amazing what you can do with tea bags! I'm making a book in a box with tea bags. I write on each tea bags the different way I could make tea. Your post reminds me that I should continue with it - Hugs Nat

woman with wings said...

Nat, your project sounds intriguing, I hope you post about it! This is my first brush with the tea bag...xo

Notjustnat said...

I will now that I remembered it again. I did it for an exhibition, but it was more work than I planned so it missed out the dateline. I will post an unfinished project to share - Hugs Nat

Marie said...

I have learned something new! I love coffee, lattes and tea too! There is something so comforting about it.
Remember when Celestial Seasonings used to put really cool words all over the inside and outside of the box? 1980's? Also Dr. Bronner's soap?
I think it would be fun to stitch the tea bags to a piece of cloth and quilt it?
:)

cristina said...

oh my . . . i have tins full of tea bags.
i have a blind love for coffee and for some reason
friends gift me with tea again and again.
there is a collection of all sorts of teas
sitting in my cupboard.
At last I have a plan for all those tea bags!
Might the different flavors create different
colors? And then there are the bags...

woman with wings said...

Marie, oh I miss those Celestial boxes. They were so cool. Why do things always have to change? Seems like they still have a little something on them but nothing like the old way. Do you remember Mo's 24? It was the best flavor, too. I was hoping the tea bags would be more cloth-like and that I could sew them together but maybe on a piece of cloth, that'd be fun...good idea.

woman with wings said...

Cristina, well you could have a good time using them all up in the dye-pot! Liniecat, in an earlier comment, mentions experimenting to get different colors so there may be a whole rainbow sitting right there in your cupboard!
Keep us posted...