Avocado Dye

When I found out that one of my favourite foods produces one of my favourite colours, I was up and gathering all the bits I needed as soon as I could get to it! This gorgeous dusty rose, comes from using avocado skins and pits!

I used the skins off three avocados, their pits chopped and an additional three pits I had saved aside to plant, this project took precedence to that for the time being! So a side note, if you wish, save all of your skins and pits in a small bag in the freezer, as you eat the avocados until you’re ready to use them. Place all the avocado skins and pits in a pot of water, more than enough to cover. I used approximately 1.5 litres. Simmer on a low temperature, careful not to scorch. I left my pot on for just over an hour, then covered it and left it until the next day when I would be ready to dye. I think giving the pot that time to sit may help saturate the colour, though I’m not certain if it does.

The next day, using a sieve, I removed all of the solids from the dye pot.

Look at this beautiful colour, I’m still so impressed that avocados do that!

I placed the sieved dye back into my dye pot. Before dyeing the yarn of your choice, it must be soaked and thoroughly wet. I used a wee skein of chain plied alpaca and two skeins of Icelandic handspun. The Icelandic is a bit on the tan side. I had some wonderful squishy skiens of white handspun Finnsheep wool, but I was apprehensive to use it because I didn’t have enough dye to do it all and am saving it for a project. So maybe next time when I get some more avocados eaten.

Your yarn should be good and saturated with water. Leave it to soak for at least ten minutes, I left mine for about thirty. Squeeze the water out and place the yarn in the cold dye pot. The dye should cover the yarn. Mine was pretty close, so I added about 1 cup of water, add enough to cover the yarn or fibre you are dyeing.

Keep your element on low. You do not want your pot to boil, that is quite important! Let it simmer on low for a good hour. Then turn the element off and let the pot sit. I let mine sit until the next day. The great thing about using this dye is there is no need for a mordant, avocados are high in tannins so the dye sticks well on it’s own. (Amazing!)

The next day, I removed the skeins, rinsed in cold water and hung the skeins to dry. My heart sang. I just LOVE this colour!

Various shades obtained using the dye and exhaust. I managed to get two large skeins and a wee one nice and bright (middle). Four skeins in a mid tone (shown on left) and three very pale (on the right). I used approximately 2.5 cups of avocado pits for this big dye batch.


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