Often when embroidering, either machine or by hand, to stain your base fabric will give your piece of work another dimension.
Here is a recipe for staining fabric besides utilizing tea or coffee. I have found using Parisian Essence gives a very deep staining. This type of staining is best utilized for work that will not be laundered as there is a chance it may fade considerably. Some textile people advocate it can be set by washing the piece, following staining, in white vinegar or ironing it. This something that needs to be experiamented with.
Parisian Essence is used in cooking to add extra colour to gravies, soups and cakes ect. It can be found generally in the cooking section of your supermarket.
Staining Recipe: Pre wash your fabric in warm water to remove the sizing and then wring out well. In a stainless steel bucket/ trough make up a solution of 75mls of Parisian Essence mixed with 8 litres of hot tap water. Place the fabric in this solution and leave for 10minutes, thou every couple of minutes stir the solution in order that the Parisian Solution dyes all the fabric. After 10minutes remove the fabric and wring out well, leave to dry before use.