Avocado Dyed Wool, Silk & Lace

I’ve been saving pits and skins in freezer for my 1st attempt at dyeing with Avocado. Curiosity and longing for delicate pink & peachy colors pushed nervous me to commit my fibers to the dye pot. Here are the pretty results.

Avocado flesh was eaten. The dozen saved (pits only, in this pot) were chopped & soaked on low simmer 3 hours before dyeing commenced. Whole pit was removed after photo.


Variety of wools. The more yellow color at top came from pot with both skins & pits. The delicate pink blush colors were Pit only, though read on about the 2 different pots


Identity for photo above. The cheviot wool had both skins & pits. The remainder: pit dyed.



Variety of SILKS. Curiously, both the pink AND the more yellow tone Throwsters Waste were dyed in same dye bath, though an hour apart. Tricky aspect: I poured the liquid out of stainless steel pot into a larger, aluminum pot. At which point, I got PINKER colors.  Next time, I’ll pre-soak the silk combed top in Synthrapol to remove milling oils (yup, and water usually looks grungy after) and THEN dye with avocado water.  I wonder how the color results may differ?

The Mystery is part of the Magic

I was not scientific in my approach; merely eager to get started. I brewed up pits and skins in one stainless steel pot, and pits-only in another. The pot with avocado shell-skin -and- pits gave more golden colors. But later wanted to add fabric & lace, so I poured the pits-only liquid into a large aluminum pot for more space. At that point, I got pinker colors, and wonder if it happened because the dye liquid was partially exhausted, or because the aluminum affected the color? I’ll have to try another day, being methodical and organized to better record results.

Cottons and bits of lace, gauze and (lower right) rayon ribbon.

No mordant was added; I simply brewed clean pits and skins in water. Apparently avocado contains enough tannic acid to set the color.

I had put my frozen pits into a pot & poured boiling water over them hoping to loosen the brown papery skins, which it did. They came off easily, after which I chopped the naked pits. It’s like cutting though hard cheese. They rapidly oxidize to orange color once cut. BE SURE to contain the pieces – I used a small organza drawstring bag and the fine mesh made it easy to remove once the dye color was ready.

I notice that despite a hasty rinse before spinning the dyeing water out, all fibers have a faint crisp feeling. I’m going to soak them all in some no-rinse wool wash (Eucalan) and maybe add a touch of fabric softener or hair conditioner before I spin dry again.

AVOCADO DYEING was grand fun, and couldn’t be easier. Bonus: a tasty treat to fortify you before dyeing experiments begin. I hope you’ll try it and share your own results. Have fun!

And coming soon…. Onion skin dyeing! I adore the golden colors and am eager to continue the Plant Dye explorations.

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