Eco Dyeing with Avocado
Dyeing fabric with avocado pits and skins is a zero waste method to get that tie dye tee you want to rock all summer long that is kind to your skin and the environment.
Save up your avocado stones or pits. Each make a slightly different pink or peach so you can play with making a dye with them separately or together! Wash them well to remove any green residue and store them in the freezer until you have enough for your project. 5-8 stones will dye approximately 3 shirts, or experiment with more for a stronger colour.
Select your fabric. Upcycle a white tee, baby onesie or pair of socks but make sure they are 100% cotton. Natural fibres absorb the dye more readily. Wash it really well in hot water and spin or hang to dry, but leave it damp before putting it into the dye pot. It must be clean and evenly wetted to take in the colour evenly.
Prepare your dye. Fill a large stainless steel pot with enough water to cover your fabric. Toss in your avocado stones or skins and bring to a simmer. Hold it at a gentle simmer for 1 hour. turn off the heat and let it cool. You can break up material to give it more surface area and coax some more colour out. Experiment with simmering and cooling as much as you want until you achieve a nice colour. Before you put in your fabric, try testing with a small swatch of similar fabric.
Place your fabric in the pot. Bundle it up with elastics to achieve a tie dye, marbled affect, or leave it solid. Again, this is another aspect that you can really get creative with. Once the fabric is submerged in the pot, bring it to a simmer for another hour. Let it cool again and leave it in the pot anywhere from 2-24 hours! Just remember that the colour will fade after washing and the more time in the pot the more the fibres have a chance to soak in the dye.
Remove your fabric from the pot. Rinse well in cool water and hang to dry in the shade. Let the colour set on the fabric for at least a week before washing with a mild detergent.
Enjoy your new creation! Just remember that there are so many different elements to achieve different results in eco dyeing. From the type of avocado, to how long they were soaked and simmered, to the type of fabric you chose, all will create a different result! Just have fun and enjoy the process.
There are ALOT of eco dyers on instagram sharing their work and many have written books, e books and host workshops if you want to dive deeper into the world of dyeing with plants! Here are some of my current favourites to get you started:
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips by Rebecca Desnos
I hope you are continuing to create and find things that make your soul happy during these times of uncertainty.