As we continue to stay in our homes in various stages of lockdown I have put together a simple tutorial for you on dyeing with avocado stones. Some of you may be familiar with this dye but for those of you who aren’t you might be surprised to know that avocados can give the most beautiful shade of pinks & corals. If you have read my previous articles you will be somewhat familiar with preparing your fabric also know as “scouring” & also with “mordanting” adding something to help fix the colour to the fabric.
The beauty with this ingredient is that avocados are high in tannic acid which acts as a natural mordant, binding the colour to the fibre without the need to add anything else. Again don’t get caught up on ratios or quantities, just use what you have & enjoy the process. Before you get started you will need to wash your fabric to remove any oils or residue. The linen sold on fabric store as “FS Bleached Dye Ready” has already been prepared for dyeing so all you will need to do is rinse in the machine with 1tsp of dish soap.
PFD (Prepared for Dye) Linen to Dye
4 -9 cleaned avocado pits
A big Pot ( big enough to hold whatever you’re dyeing)
Container or bucket to pre-soak your fabric after it has been washed & before it is added to the dye pot
Pre-wash your fabric in your washing machine using 1 tsp. of any of the following, soda crystals, baking soda, baking powder or dish soap. If you are using Fabric Store linen just rinse with 1tsp dish soap per meter.
Once your fabric is washed let it sit in a container of water to make sure the fibres are soaked through before adding to the dye pot.
Fill your pot with enough water, I always like to fill 3/4 way.
Wash your avocado pits ( removing any fleshy bits that may have stuck to the stone ). Add the whole pits to your pot; the more you add, the darker the colour.
Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer until the avocado pits begin to turn the water to pink and then a deep maroon, should take anywhere between 40minutes -2.5 hours depending on your stones.
Once your water starts to change colour and the dye is released let the dye gently simmer for 30 – 1 hour.
Remove the stones from your pot & add your pre-soaked/wetted fabric. This can be done with the heat on or off. I like to start with the heat on a low simmer for at least 30 minutes then I turn the heat off. For strong colours turn off the heat & leave the fabric in overnight. The longer the fabric soaks, the stronger the colour. If you want soft subtle colours, leave your fabric in until you like the colour you see.
When the material reaches your desired shade, let it cool & carefully remove it from the dye pot. Rinse with a gentle fabric soap & hang to dry.