So being the cheap soul that I am, I took a tip from Mrs. Forrester ( I hope you've all seen Cranford) and decided to "improve the color" on my own.
Here's what you need:
Fabric to be dyed
Lipton Tea (amount depends on the depth of color you are trying to achieve)
1. Fill a large stock pot with 20 cups of water.
2. Place the fabric to be stained in a large pot and fill with water, making sure the fabric is completely covered with a bit to spare. If needed add more water.
3. Remove the fabric and squeeze as much of the water out as possible (back into the pot.) Set fabric aside.
4.Bring the water to a boil, then turn off heat.
5. For 20 cups I used 4 teabags. A very "safe" ratio is 1 tea bag to 5 cups water. If you want a darker ivory or tan color use more tea. Add the tea bags to the hot water and allow to steep for about 3 minutes.
6. Remove the tea bags.
7. IMPORTANT! Let the tea sit until warm or you will burn your hands wringing out the fabric!
8. Place the fabric to be stained into the tea. Stir around to make sure the tea gets into all the folds and pockets of the fabric.
9. Allow to sit for a minimum of five minutes. The longer it remains in the tea, the darker the stain will be. Check periodically on the color, keeping in mind that it will lighten as it dries.
10. Wring out the fabric well, then rinse in cold water to remove excess acids from the tea.
11. Rinse well with vinegar, to set the dye in the fabric. The vinegar can be used straight, or diluted up to one part in ten in water for larger pieces where using so much straight vinegar would be cost prohibitive.
12. Use a dryer to dry the fabric.
13. Wash thoroughly as normal, to remove any remaining tea and vinegar.
I promise there is a difference, it just isn't drastic. You can play around with your recipe/sitting time to achieve whatever hue you want!