Dyeing cloth with avocado

We enjoy living in avocado land, and eat them most days. We’ve been trying to sprout the seeds, turning them into buttons, and eating them - but what to do with all those skins?

I’ve been saving them in a big bag in the freezer, and finally, we scraped them as clean as we could, cut them into little pieces, and soaked them for days. We boiled them occasionally, too.

We cut up pits, soaking and boiling them, too. You can see the promise of color in the cuts - and then look at that vibrant hue! Much brighter than the skins.

I’d read that I wouldn’t need a mordant because avocado has a dye-fixer naturally built-in. Well, good, even easier! I could just soak fabric in the liquid (with pits and skins or without), occasionally boil, soak a few more days, and have dyed cloth.

Initial results were…okay. The cloth is a cotton/polyester blend, but perhaps 70/30 so a reasonable candidate for botanical dye. It was free, and I found a lot of it, which made it an ideal candidate for my first try. (I also tried wool yarn.)

The pre-dye color was like unbleached muslin, light taupe. Post-dye color was warm-pink-orange; prettier than the original cloth, borderline special enough for the effort.

And after a soapless wash there was too little color left for the project to be worth it. Next, I’ll try a mordant. And I should have put far less cloth in each pot, but I was being lazy in that way that costs extra time in the long run.

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