Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Surprising Pink

My dye color in the jar
 I have read several accounts of people using avocados for dyeing and I thought that I would try it.  I loved the soft muted pinks that were the result.  And before you start fussing about wasting food, you only use the skin and the pit, both things that most people just throw away.  This is one of the things that intrigued me about the whole idea.  I really like to be able to squeeze more out of my money.

everything kept trying to float
I have been saving avocado skins in my freezer for a couple of months now.  I didn't know until recently that the pits would work too.  So this last time I used the pits also.  This batch of dye used the skins from 7 avocados and 2 pits.  I used about 5 cups of filtered water for boiling the skins and pits.  I boiled it for about a half hour.  I had tried to clean the skins and pits, but because avocados are full of all of those wonderful healthy fats, it makes them very hard to clean completely.  As a result, the dye had to be filtered a little bit.  When it was somewhat cooled, I used a sieve and strained most of the particles out.

I finally got everything to
stay put
 I put two crocheted flowers, a scrap of flannel, and a piece of a sheet.  Everything except the sheet, everything I tried is 100% cotton.  The flowers were crocheted by me even.  I plan to use these in my shop.  The flowers will be used for hair clips, and the sheet piece for a bag for my swaddling blankets or my photographic props.  I thought that since these will be naturally dyed it made sense to dye the bags the same way.  The flannel is just for my records so I can track the effectiveness of my dyes.

Vinegar water after simmering
I started by putting my materials to be dyed into the pot with the dye and boiling them for about 20 - 30 minutes.  I let them cool for about the same amount of time before transferring the material to a jar and filling it with the dye from the pot.  I left this sitting on the stove top for almost 20 hours.  After I got home from church on Sunday evening, I pulled the fabric out of the jar and squeezed as much dye as I could out into the pot.  I then poured the remaining dye back into the jar.  Next, I used about 3/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water and simmered them for about 20 minutes to fix the dye to the material.

The final color when wet
As you can see from the picture to the right, very little of the dye came out in the vinegar water.  I drained the vinegar solution back into it's bottle since I had used the last of the bottle.  I think that I can safely use this for my second round that is in the dye right now.  Next, I used my homemade laundry detergent to hand wash my dyed items.  I gently agitated them in the pot and then rinsed them under cool water.  After rinsing I hung out the flannel and the sheet and laid out the flowers so that everything can dry overnight.
All dry 
Everything is dry now.  I really love the soft, subtle pink that I got.  I think I will let the current batch remain in the dye for a couple of days though.  I would like to have a little more saturation for the other items.

I really like to be able to use all of the parts of the avocado.  It is a wonderful way to recycle and the boiled bits go into the compost.

1 comment:

  1. So cute, Lois!
    Thank you so much for Linking Up at Brag About It this week. We are so happy to have you join us!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Please Link Up at my NEW party!! Open NOW (Sat thru Fri) @ DIY Showcase Link Party


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