Using Avocado Skins as a Natural Dye

Since I had recently had some successful results using avocado stones in my natural dye experiments, I decided that it was time to try dyeing with the skins.

I wanted quite a dark dye so decided to use 8 avocado skins in total and 100g of Baby Alpaca wool which, had been pre-treated with soya milk/water blend.

I initially heated up the skins in an aluminium pot on a gentle simmer for an hour and a half.

Once the pot had cooled, I broke up the skins further and heated the pot again on a gentle simmer for a further hour.

Again, once the pot had cooled, I sieved the skins through some cheesecloth over a glass bowl and added the concentrated dye back to the pot and simmered on the gas hob for a further hour.

I soaked the yarn prior to adding it to the dye pot and simmered it in the dye on a low heat for approximately an hour.

The key to getting a darker shade and to get the full benefits of colour fastness is to leave the yarn in the dye pot for a while. I left this yarn in the dye pot for approximately three days then hung it outside in the shade to dry and this was the result of the yarn once dry:

It turned out a nice peach colour which I was pleased with. I will now leave the yarn in a dark cupboard for at least a week before rinsing to help the dye bond with the fibres as much as possible.

I felt there was still enough dye left in the pot to dye something else so I decided to make a project bag out of organic cotton fabric and also added an organic cotton t-shirt to the dye pot. Both had been pre-treated with a soya milk/water blend prior to dyeing.

I heated the dye pot on a simmer for an hour and the colour started to take quite quickly to these items:

I left these in the dye pot again for approximately three days before hanging up outside in the shade to dry and here are the results:

The colours came out a burnt orange/dark peach colour which I was really happy with.

I’ve got lots of new experiments I’m trying in the world of natural dyeing and I look forward to sharing these in future blogs. Please feel free to sign up to my newsletter and/or follow me on Instagram if you’d like to keep updated on my latest blogs.

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