Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Avocado Dye Tutorial - AUGUST 2020

Here is a fun project for you to try as you stay home cooking, exploring, and entertaining yourself and your family. Did you know you can dye fabric with non-toxic avocado skins and pits?!
When I use an avocado, I scrape out all the pulp and save the skins and the pit. After making my guacamole, I scrub the skins and pits lightly with a kitchen sponge and put them in a plastic bag, which I then leave in my freezer. When I have saved at least 6 or more avocado skins and pits, I make some avocado dye. In this tutorial, I used the skins and pits of 8 avocados.
I put the frozen skins and pits into a large pot and cover them with water. I bring the water to a simmer and let it stay on the heat for about 1 hour. You can use the dye right away, but I usually let the pot sit overnight.

Strain out the skins and pits (which can go into your compost) and then in a colander with a cloth or towel to strain once more to remove any of the avocado flesh that is left in the liquid.

In this case, you can see that there was not very much flesh. I added my wetted fabric to the dye and added enough water to cover the cotton napkins I wanted to dye. You want to be sure the fabric can move freely in the dye.

At this point the dye is a rusty color but it will dye the fabric a pinky peach color in the end. Simmer the fabric in the dye  for about 1 hour and again leave it to sit overnight.
Next I drain the fabric and put it in the washing machine or a basin to rinse out the dye I and then spin it before putting it into the dryer. You can do all of this without the washer and dryer if you have a small amount of fabric.

Here are the finished dyed napkins, a nice pink color. You can get a deeper color by using more avocado skins and pits and/or leaving the fabric in the dye longer. Some dyers use the pits and skins separately and find the resulting colors are different. And because the skins and pits have high levels of tannin, the colors are fairly permanent and you can try other interesting experiments with resulting dyed fabrics. I'll expand on this in a future post.

Enjoy your projects with this lovely, easy dye. Please send photos to show me what you made! I'll share them here.


Robbie said...

I will never throw out my avocado pits and skins again!!! WOW...who knew!!!! I have two ready to cut up this week!!! Thanks for the post!

sonja said...

will give this a whirl when avocado season kicks in, feast or famine here and i don't like the black ones in the grocery. thank goodness for back yards of the neighborhood and farmers markets!

Cris Winters said...

Robbie, thanks for your comment! Please send results of your experiments!