Learn how beautiful dyes can be created from your compost scraps to make a beautiful dye palette!

Dyeing with Avocado Pits

Posted by : Mary Wutz   /  

Dyeing with Avocado Pits?!

Image by Rebecca Desnos

Recently we came upon an article on one of our natural dye heroes, Sasha Duerr. We learned about how she started her love affair with natural dye and also how she too is part of the food and fiber movement. This is a dye recipe from the article and we hope you are as inspired with the idea of dyeing your linens with compost as we are! The recipe is for Pillow Cases, but you can apply this to the same amount of fabric for another linen or article of clothing! 


You'll need 10 avocado pits for this project, which is a great excuse to eat 10 avocados. You could also befriend your local Mexican restaurant and grab their pits at the end of a day. (Duerr has staged "Dinners to Dye For," partnerships between chefs and designers where the scraps from dinner are repurposed as natural dyes for table linens.

The instructions below will dye up to 5 square linen pillowcases:

  1. Fill a large stainless steel pot two-thirds full with water.
  2. Add 10 avocado pits. Bring the water to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer until the water turns bright red, approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
  4. Remove the pits with tongs and add the pillowcases, maintaining a low simmer.
  5. After 10 minutes, the dye will be securely bonded to the fabric, and the pillowcase should be a light, sun-dried shade of peach. Leave them longer to intensify the pink hues.
  6. When the pillowcases reach your desired shade, use tongs to move them to a sink to rinse in warm water with pH-neutral soap. Hang them to dry out of direct sunlight.

Ready to experiment? Adding an iron solution to your avocado water transforms the peach hue into shades of dove grey and bruised purple. You can dye multiple pillow cases in the same vat to produce a range of shades. Try techniques like Shibori, block, and steam printing for different effects. You can even collect rain or salt water for a more locally-informed product.

For the full article on Sasha Duerr click here

Image by Louisa Nickel Photography

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