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Dyeing Fabric with Avocado Pit Dye For Beginners

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Dyeing with avocado really eases one into the natural dyeing process. It's safe, simple and results in a unique pink output which is very colourfast, meaning the colour will not fade for a long time; so all in all the most perfect experience for beginners. Now the main thing to note is that when they say “Avocado Dye”, it’s the seeds, meaning dyeing with avocado pits and the peels that contain tannin which produces the colour, not the fleshy edible part of the fruit. Now, let’s see how to dye with avocado pits:


Materials Needed:

  • Avocado pit dye or seeds 

  • Access to stove

  • Lidded dye pots of stainless steel or aluminium (preferably ones not used for cooking, after)

  • Long handle spoon for stirring

  • Loose weave cloth for straining

  • Fabric for dyeing with avocado dye, like organic cotton or linen

  • Stainless steel or cord drying line with pegs

  • A lot of patience


Forewarning:

Proceed with avocaution.

Like with any natural dye, the output varies according to the mordants used on fabric (if any), pH of the water, variety of fruit produce, whether you use avocado pit dye or just the skin or both, the utensils used for dyeing, and so on. Refer to our blog titled Natural Dyes for a better insight. Only dyeing with avocado pits or seeds are included here since this blog covers the easiest way for avocado pink dye. Make sure to collect a few over time and to not let them dry out. They can be air dried and stored in jars but the most effective way is to leave them in bags in the freezer. Freezing keeps them fresh and results in better colour outputs than an avocado pit dye that has dried out.

 

Pit-pration:

The frozen seeds are going to be hard to crush, cut or peel. It’s best to soak them whole in a lidded pot on a simmer for 1 hour. Turn off the heat, peel them and let them soak in the same bath for several hours or overnight.

Now crush the seeds to release more colour. Add one litre of water to it and bring it to boil to develop the avocado pink dye more. Post that, let it simmer for an hour at low temperature. Since the avocado pit dye still has a lot of colour, this process of boiling the seeds will have to be repeated several times a week to get the most of avocado dye extraction. Strain the dye through a loose-weave fabric. Pour the avocado dye extract into a dye pot.


Fabric:

Because the avocado pit dye already has a high amount of tannin content, the fabric to be dyed needn’t be mordanted. The output will be lighter as a result. Only pre-wash of the fabric is needed, as hot as possible to remove any starch or coating. Wet the fabric right before dyeing with avocado dye as well.


Avocadye:

Add enough water to fit in all of the fabric evenly and for it can move freely. Lower the wet fabric into the avocado dye bath and bring the temperature to below boiling. Stir the dye pot to agitate it every 10 minutes so the avocado dye can enter into folds of the fabric and has an even reach. Steer clear of air pockets as they’ll create uneven patches on the fabrics.

Keep this routine up for a minimum of 1 hour, the colour will continue to develop overtime. After one hour, remove the fabric. Allow it to cool down and wring out the excess water. Let the fabric dry a little before rinsing with cool water.


A lovely peach to pink shade should’ve developed by now. Air dry the dyed cloth with pegs on a line. Iron them out once dry and there is the result of your perfect avocado pink dye. The avocado dye preparation wait can be tiresome, but totally worth it.


The pieces handcrafted at zy-lk are hand-dyed using organic dyes, in-house. Organic dyes presently used at zy-lk include Marigold petals, Madder roots, Turmeric, Areca Nuts, Annatto seeds or Indigo leaves, some of which are GOTS certified. View the entire collection here. Stay tuned for more blogs on natural dyes.