Tinting vintage crocheted pieces with tea, how to set color?
Last week I bought a large vintage crocheted piece I plan to use as a coverlet on my bed. There was one section, about 1 foot by 3 feet, where the maker obviously ran out of the color of crochet cotton she had used for the rest of it. This panel is a lighter beige, rather than the deeper tone of the rest of it.
My grandmother crocheted, and I remember her being very picky about the color she used. She liked a deeper ecru. Upon one occasion when my mother was taking her out on errands, she couldnÃ¢ÂÂt find her typical color, just lighter ones. My mother promised to dye the finished piece with tea when she completed it.
On the next visit, she did. I vaguely recall her soaking it in a big pot full of tea on the stove, then rinsing it. The finished result was very nice. What I donÃ¢ÂÂt remember was if she used something like salt to set the color. Or ironing?
To get back to my Ã¢ÂÂnewÃ¢ÂÂ piece: I used a paint brush to apply the tea to the lighter section, soaking it, but stopping short of it bleeding into the darker main body. I had tested it first on a small section the day before. After about 2 hours of soaking, I started blotting it dry. It looks pretty goodÃ¢ÂÂ¦not exact, as the darker main body has a pinker cast to the ecru. But a whole lot closer to a match than before.
Any ideas how I can set the color? This was enough trouble that I really donÃ¢ÂÂt want it washing out. IÃ¢ÂÂm not planning on laundering this, but you never know. Should I try the salt, or ironing with a steam iron? I would prefer not to have to immerse the whole piece, just this section.
Cross post to Antiques. Thanks!