wikiHow to Dye Fabric With Coffee

Natural, plant-based compounds have been used to dye fabrics for ages, and these dyes retain their simplicity and charm even today. A simple way you can get started with dyeing fabric at home is by using something you likely already have in abundance - coffee. You can dye fabric with coffee using only a few simple tools and ingredients that you likely already own. This process is quick and relatively mess-free, and it will allow you to alter the look of almost any fabric that you want.


  1. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 1
    Wash the fabric beforehand. Before dyeing, wash and dry the fabric as you normally would. This removes any dirt and oil that might keep the dye from penetrating evenly. This step is especially important on newly purchased fabrics that might be coated with a finishing spray.
  2. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 2
    Place a large pot on your cooktop. You will need a pot that is big enough in which to submerge your fabric. A regular stockpot will most likely be adequate.
  3. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 3
    Brew coffee as you normally would. You will need enough coffee to completely cover the fabric once it is placed in the pot. This may mean preparing several pots of coffee in succession and pouring their contents into the large pot 1 by 1.
    • The strength of the coffee prepared will affect the depth of color achieved with the dye. The more coffee used, the darker the tint you can achieve.
    • As an alternative to preparing many batches of coffee in your coffee maker, you can fill the stockpot directly with water and simply dissolve instant coffee in it.
  4. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 4
    Bring the coffee to a boil. After pouring all of your prepared coffee into the pot, bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat as soon as the coffee reaches a full boil.
  5. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 5
    Add the fabric to the stockpot. Once you have turned the heat off and the coffee has stopped bubbling, submerge the fabric entirely into the coffee. Stir it around a bit with a wooden spoon to make sure any air pockets are eliminated.
  6. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 6
    Let the fabric steep as long as desired. The longer your fabric steeps in the coffee, the deeper it will be dyed. You will need to wait about an hour for appreciable, colorfast results, but you can allow a longer steeping time for a deeper tint.
  7. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 7
    Remove and rinse the dyed fabric. Remove the fabric from the coffee dye and rinse it thoroughly under cold water in your sink. Do this until the water runs clear, which will indicate that all excess dye has been removed.
    • Only after removing the excess coffee dye will you be able to accurately tell how dark the fabric has been tinted. If you still want the fabric to be darker after rinsing it, you can bring your coffee dye back to a boil and steep the fabric again.
    • The coffee dye may stain your pot if you do not drain and wash it promptly after the dyeing process is complete.
  8. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Step 8
    Wash the fabric gently. The coffee dye described above will not provide a completely colorfast finish, which means that the color will fade a bit with each successive wash. To prevent this, wash the fabric as infrequently as possible and use a mild detergent like Woolite.
  9. Image titled Dye Fabric With Coffee Intro


  • This dye will provide a light to medium brownish hue to light-colored fabrics. For a warmer, reddish hue, you can use the same process above substituting tea for coffee.
  • Coffee is best used to dye natural fabrics like cotton or linen. Synthetic fibers will not absorb the dye very well.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Large pot
  • Coffee
  • Wooden spoon
  • Water
  • Mild detergent

Article Info

Categories: Fabric and Clothing Decoration