Dyeing with avocado

After publishing my previous post I was asked how I dyed with avocado. This was my first attempt and I just went for it, without much searching or weighing the amount of dyestuff or fibre. I had some pits and skins frozen, some dried. I chopped what I could, some pits were too hard to break so I just left them whole. Since then I learned that it’s very easy to cut them with an ordinary kitchen knife while they are still fresh, just after I wash them. So nowadays, when the flesh is eaten, I cut the skin with scissors and the pit with a knife and freeze these in separate bags.

For my first dyeing I put both pits and skins in the stainless steel pot, covered with water and cooked for a good while. Then strained the liquid, covered the dye stuff with water again and cooked to extract more dye. The liquor was similar to a strong tea with a red tint. By this time the house smelled badly as I was told by my children – I can’t tell because I can’t smell.

Then I simmered the raw unmordanted silk fabric for a good while. I tend to leave fibres in dye pots for quite some time and this one was no exception. The resulting colour is similar to tea;  I believe it’s the tannin in pits which took over so next time I will dye separately with pits and skins.

 

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3 thoughts on “Dyeing with avocado

  1. From what I’ve been reading it’s good to soak the skins for a week or more if you want to get better color. Mine are starting to ferment and will no doubt be very smelly by time I get to them. I’m with jschubertdesigns…weird smells abound in my house as well!

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