HOW TO DYE FABRIC USING AVOCADO STONES

Oh how I’ve missed blogging just to blog and making things just for the sake of making. All of those years ago when I started this blog, that’s exactly what it was – just a collection of things I was trying out and wanted to share. Although I am so grateful for the career path this platform has created for me, I also sometimes long for the days where I carved out time to just play around with something and chat through the process.

And so with that in mind, today, we’re taking things back and playing around with a gorgeous pink natural dye from…blended avocado stones! I love the idea of using something like avocado stones that would typically go to waste to dye all sorts of things. You could dye old white cotton t-shirts, canvas tote bags, white slightly stained napkins or even just play around with any fabric scraps.

I love that I didn’t have to buy anything new for this DIY. I had absolutely everything in the cupboard already.

Here’s what you’ll need to naturally dye fabric using avocado stones:

  • 2 handfuls of dried avocado stones (if you wish to dye a lot of fabric, collect more. We used about 15)
  • Natural fabric (we used scraps of 100% cotton)
  • Blender
  • 750ml water
  • Saucepan
  • 1 empty tea bag typically used for tea leaves
  • 5g bicarbonate of soda (this is your mordant which will fix the colour in the material)
  • Tongs

Step 1: Chop up and blend 2/3 of your avocado stones until you get a fine powder.

Step 2: Prepare your fabric to dye by rinsing it thoroughly in cold water.

Step 3: Bring 750ml of water to a boil in a saucepan.

Step 4: Fill up a tea bag sachet with the avocado powder.

Step 5: Place the remaining whole avocado stones and tea bag sachet in the saucepan.

Step 6: Leave to simmer for 1 hour, take off the heat and remove the stones and the teabag.

Step 7: Add in 5 g of bicarbonate of soda, stir. This is your mordant to help fix the dye. There are lots of different mordant options.

Step 8: Place the fabric in the dye, using tongs to move it around occasionally for an evenly coloured fabric.

Step 9: After 45 minutes remove your fabric and rinse under cold water until water runs clear.

Step 10: Leave to dry and iron. Now your fabric is ready to be created into something beautiful.

Tips, tricks & thoughts:

  • The number of avocado stones and size of the saucepan will obviously depend on the amount of fabric you wish to dye or the the colour you want to achieve.
  • Use natural materials. Synthetics are very hard to dye with.
  • The bicarbonate of soda acts as a mordant but there are various mordants you can play around with. Some people recommend soaking the fabric in vinegar beforehand.
  • Be aware that the colour will likely fade over time and when exposed to the sun and that every batch with produce a different colour.

I absolutely love how easy the whole process was and am now dying (get it?) to test out all sorts of other natural dyes. I’ve heard fern gives off a beautiful light green, onion skins go browny-yellow and red cabbage will turn fabric blue!

Expect a whole flurry of blog posts over the next few months as I proceed to dye my whole drawer of fabric scraps all sorts of different colours.

Have you ever tried natural dyeing? Got any tips for me?

Thanks for stopping by for a read. I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far! xS

Photos by Nicole Hertel

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