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Dyeing osnaburg with coffee?

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I'm thinking of dyeing my osnaburg shirt right know and am wondering if its possible to dye it with coffee/grounds? I've dyed cotton items with coffee before and it turned out good, just wondering about Osnaburg.
Also, I asked Townsends (where i got the shirt from) and they said they've never dyed osnaburg before.
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Stophel

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If, by "Osnaburg", you mean the really loosely spun, loosely woven cotton stuff, I never had any luck dyeing that stuff with anything.

Real Osnaburg was/is linen fabric, and linen is very tough to dye. Coffee might do something, but it probably won't do much.
 

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I've had very mixed results with coffee and tea dying fabric. Sometimes it takes, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes in an effort to get it to take, the item is left in too long and grows mold. Most sure way to get coffee or tea to permanently stain something is to spill it on something you don't want stained or dyed.
 

hawkeye2

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The only thing coffee seems to stain well is your teeth. I never had any luck with it and BTW that old trick from the back of the Dixie catalog, the one about dissolving a plug of chewing tobacco to make a stain doesn't work very well either.
 

Stophel

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Actually, I vaguely remember successfully dyeing a piece of cotton "osnaburg" many years ago (probably 20+!) dark gray with sumac berries and ferrous sulphate ("copperas"). I don't know how colorfast it was.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Coffee is a stain, not a dye. It wont be colorfast, or permanent. It may not stain evenly and you'll end up with splotches or streaks.
Add to that coffee was expensive, and used grounds have much less of the tannin that gives the color. So Why would you waste money using coffee, when walnut fruits were free ???

Stophel mentions Sumac, which was/is staghorn sumac, and it's rather colorfast, and gives a good gray. Leaves from the "tree" worked well when I saw it tried.

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Stophel

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Sumac is high in tannic acid, and is used as a mordant for other dyes. By itself, it makes no more than a VERY weak tan colored dye, but the addition of ferrous sulphate (or iron in some other form) creates a reaction (the same as putting a nail in an oak board will make a blue-black mark running down from the nail), and you get a blue-ish gray dye.

Apparently, the whole plant is chock full of tannic acid, but I've just used the "berries".
 

Brokennock

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Sumac is high in tannic acid, and is used as a mordant for other dyes. By itself, it makes no more than a VERY weak tan colored dye, but the addition of ferrous sulphate (or iron in some other form) creates a reaction (the same as putting a nail in an oak board will make a blue-black mark running down from the nail), and you get a blue-ish gray dye.

Apparently, the whole plant is chock full of tannic acid, but I've just used the "berries".
So, if I miss the red berries again this year, would boiling some leaves and maybe some bark and/or broken up twigs work if I add the ferrous sulfate? When do I add it?
 
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Instead of staining the osnaburg shirt, I stained some etra buckskin that I had with coffee, and it turned out great! Made it into a new smaller possibles bag.
Will see if I can post pictures later, artificial light doesn't do justice. The willow buckskin turned into a really nice darker brown. Looks more like smoked braintan too.
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Stophel

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The berries don't have to be fresh (but are much more potent when they are). The berries often stay on the plant for a long time, and are usable even dry. Right now would be a good time to gather sumac berries.

I expect that leaves and bark would work fine too, but I have not personally tried them.

You're supposed to do the ferrous sulphate in a separate bath from the sumac, but really, you can just dump it all in together. Just test it out first on scrap fabric. Dyeing is not an exact science. Colors will range from the rather dark blueish (almost purplish) gray with full strength sumac, to a pleasant smoky light gray with weak dry sumac berries.
 
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20191018_134616.jpg
The possibles bag. 8×7"

20191018_135019.jpg
The possibles bag compared to my firebag of the same buckskin, showing the darker color of the coffe stained possibles bag. Pictures dont show it as well as in person tho.

20191018_135100.jpg
This neck bag is made of the same coffee stained buckskin too. Its going to be a gift, so I just freestyled it I guess.
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Brokennock

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The berries don't have to be fresh (but are much more potent when they are). The berries often stay on the plant for a long time, and are usable even dry. Right now would be a good time to gather sumac berries.

I expect that leaves and bark would work fine too, but I have not personally tried them.

You're supposed to do the ferrous sulphate in a separate bath from the sumac, but really, you can just dump it all in together. Just test it out first on scrap fabric. Dyeing is not an exact science. Colors will range from the rather dark blueish (almost purplish) gray with full strength sumac, to a pleasant smoky light gray with weak dry sumac berries.
Thank you.
 

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…, but the addition of ferrous sulphate (or iron in some other form) creates a reaction...,
Ah well the lady used an iron pot with a rusty interior, for either walnuts dying or sumac dying. THAT would explain the color she got. o_O

I wonder how many frontier dyes were made other than walnut and sumac, that the color they thought came completely from the plant, was actually a reaction of the plant and the dye pot material ???

I was taught to use the sumac seed pods to make a beverage......

LD
 

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