Avocado Dye: Take One

So I’ve been wanting to try out fabric dying. It all looks so cool!! I’m actually going to an indigo dye workshop on Saturday hosted by @rosegarden and I am super pumped! I have an indigo dye kit, but I don’t really want to use it until I know what I’m doing. Hopefully after the workshop I will be ready to go to town! I ordered some knit fabric to take with me to try and it gets here on Thursday! Just in time! It’s a modal knit, so we will see how it goes.

ANYWAY, avocados! This seemed like the easiest natural dye to try. I mean, all you need is to collect avocado pits, right? At first I stored my pits in the fridge and discovered that if you leave them there for too long….they will get moldy. I had to throw a handful away. If you aren’t going to use them for awhile, you definitely want to store them in the freezer. I like to rinse off all the avocado flesh, dry with a paper towel and place in a ziplock back in the freezer. Since I don’t eat avocados very often (or ever really. I give them to my toddler) it can take awhile to save up enough pits. Bit I eventually accumulated enough! The only thing I didn’t do was use a mordant. Apparently avocados have a bit of a natural mordant? I dunno, but I just winged it. I figured, if it wasn’t very dark, I could always do it again once I accumulate more avocado pits.

You basically get a big ol pot, fill it up with water with your pits and turn up the heat! As the water gets hot, the color will start releasing from the pits, turning your water a nice red color! Put your fabric in the water and soak it! Lauren over at @rosegarden has a lot of good dying info in her story highlights with a little more details on the avocado dying.

Avocado Dye: Take One

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It’s so hard to get the lighting just right. But you can see here that this first pile of fabric is clearly white, and the second one is clearly not white. They are slightly more pink in real life, but they are so light in color that it’s hard to get a really good picture. But you can also see that the colors aren’t very deep. Remember, I didn’t use any mordants.

Fabric

  • Top Left: Cotton/spandex jersey blend

  • Top Right: Robert Kaufman 100% Linen (from hobby lobby)

  • Bottom Left: double brushed poly

  • Bottom Right: Cotton/rayon/linen blend (from joanns)

I love the color of the DBP but I’m going to dye them all over again ha. I just realized I can use SOYMILK as a mordant! Oh my goodness that is so much easier than trying to do a metal mordant! You just have to go to the store and pick up some soymilk instead of trying to rust some nails or something. And I hear that soy mordants are healthier. SO we are going to try it out tomorrow and see how it goes. It’s a bit of a process.

I just ordered the book Botanical Colour at your Fingertips on Amazon and I should get it on Thursday. I need to start acquiring different white fabrics to do some experimenting on! You can dye fabric with just about anything! I’d love to try beets! But that book tells you about soy mordanting.

I’ve scoured the internet and hardly found ANY information on blogs and whatnot about soymilk mordants, so this book will be a great addition. I’ve seen that you basically soak the fabric in 1 part soymilk to 5 parts water for a number of hours (no idea how many) but keeping your mordant bath cool in the fridge if possible since you can’t use the bath anymore once the milk spoils, spin it to try in the washer, let it dry fully and then repeat the process. I’ve read that people dip it twice or even more times. It can be a bit of a long process. But then you have to let the fabric “cure” in the soy milk, which could take awhile depending on the temperature and humidity. So I’m probably going to do the mordant bath tomorrow and then let the fabric “cure” for a couple of days and then maybe try the avocado dye again. But honestly, I can’t do the avocado dye until I have enough pits, which I bought some more avocados today. Maybe it will happen before the end of the month! So stay tuned for Avocado Dye: Take Two!

Have you tried dying anything? Any favorites? I want to try out some dying/folding techniques like shibori and play with more wovens, but I’d like to not be pregnant before I try out more woven sewing patterns!

Happy crafting!

Cheers!

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