Experimenting with Avocado Dye
I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!
I mentioned in my last post that I had been saving avocado skins, so I could experiment with dyeing some fabrics I had in my stash. I’ve loved the idea of natural techniques for a long time (see my post here on a gorgeous mini workshop I had here with a couple of friends a while back). Using botanicals and flowers to dye fabrics is such a fun thing to do, and there is tons of information about on the subject now. Avocado dye is so satisfying, so do give it a go!
I love the incredible range of hues you can get from dyeing with avocado skins, from the palest peachy pink through to deep corals. My fabric stash is groaning at the seams, so I decided to give it a go. I last tried it a few years ago, and the colours I got were very dark, almost terracotta. I wanted to try and get some of the paler, pinky hues this time. I read that it helps to slowly bring your skins to the boil and to cook slowly, rather than boiling away which is what I think I did last time.
Different weight fabrics will dye differently. I was mostly using scraps of old linen, some thinner cottons, and some old doily type tablecloths.
Avocado Dye : Method
I am no expert, and part of the fun of natural dye is that you never know what you’re going to get. I am never terribly scientific when it comes to this stuff, but this is what I did!
I saved the skin and stones from around 5 avocados. Put them in a tub in the fridge and when you are ready to go, just give them a but of a scrub with an old toothbrush. You can also leave them on a sunny windowsill to dry out.
I used a big stockpot, put my skins and stones in, as well as few pints of water. I brought to the boil slowly, and simmered gently for about an hour. Essentially, the longer you boil or simmer the skins, the richer and deeper the colour will be.
Once I could see that the water was changing the colour, I started putting pieces of fabric in in small batches, and gave the a good stir. Keep an eye on your fabric, and when it’s at the colour you desire, take it out. I used metal bbq type pincers.
As I went along, the colours intensified – so I did at one point add more water, as I wanted to dye a large piece of linen.
To get the more intense colours, I left some smaller pieces in the pot overnight just to soak. Its definitely worth just having a go with some fabric scraps to see what shades you can come up with.
Time to get creative!
And there you have it! I’m so pleased with the results of my avocado dye, especially the pale pinks. Now I need to get creative with my dyed fabrics, I’ve been yearning to get back to sewing and I really need to make time for in my life.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, I’m off for a potter in the garden. In case you missed my last post, you can see it here!