Friday, January 27, 2012

Natural Dyeing with Avocado Skins

My kitchen smells great these days and it's thanks to my current avocado skin dye bath. I followed this recipe by Gayle Bingham and in the laundry room I have a batch each of skins and pits fermenting in ammonia following this recipe. Normally I don't dye in the kitchen but the Bingham recipe consists of just soaking and simmering the skins over ten days with no chemical mordants. I have no idea whether the avocado skin dye is light-fast or fugitive, so I'll have to test this. I dyed some cotton and some silk in the same bath. When I go to this much trouble (12 days of soaking and simmering) I like to exhaust a bath, so once my first batch of fabric was processed I added more and that's what you see in the pot. Rose-beige is a pleasant colour, so I hope it is light-fast. Once this bath is exhausted I'll soak and simmer a quart of avocado pits. By the second week of February I should have results that I can share with you.

2 comments:

Judy Martin said...

Thanks for this, Karen.
I've seen another person's results that were quite pink.
I've been saving my avocado skins for a year or so, waiting to process them. I am assuming that they will work when dried - were yours all fresh?

Karen said...

My skins were all frozen. I tore up the skins into small pieces and then popped them into a ziploc freezer bag. A one quart bag of skins makes a potent dye. Good luck!