December 18, 2012


Avocado dye bath
Can you get blood from a turnip or money from a tree?  No, but you can get pink dye from an avocado!!!  I read about this on the internet and saw all the amazing fiber came out of the dye baths in a lovely shade of rose-pink.  Here's what I did:

    Ate as many avocados in one week that I could stand.  My lunches consisted of lowfat Ritz crackers with a slather of avocado and sometimes a piece of 2% American cheese.  I didn't mind eating this almost daily.  I eat very little meat, so this was delicious to me.  As I collected the peels, I would scrape out all the flesh and put them in a freezer bag until I was ready (I also saved the pits for another time).  It's important to remove all the flesh because I read that the dye bath could turn brown instead of pink.
    When I was ready I broke up the peels of about 5 avocados and placed them in an old pot with about 6 cups of water.  I boiled that for about 1 hour and set the pot aside to cool a bit.  I strained the dye into the large jar in the pic above.  I also had 2 smaller jars for the ribbon and embroidery floss.  I let them soak for hours, and some overnight.  I pulled the fabric/ribbon out and wrung it over the sink with my hands.  I rinsed the ribbon under the tap to clean off bits that clung that didn't all get strained out.  I hung all on a line in my laundry room to dry. 
In the picture above, I died a piece of silk, more ribbon, cotton bleached muslin (in the bath) and a full skein of ivory embroidery floss. 
   With the floss I soaked one end into the die in a small jar held with a clothespin.  After a while, pulled up more to create an hombre-colored finished.  It worked pretty well; I'll post some pictures of finished products as I make them.

Coffee filters, cotton muslin and seam binding ribbon
Coffee filter flower
 The filters are sturdier than most paper and take the dye like a dream.  I die cut a stack of filters on the smallest flower of the Tattered Flowers die.  As they lay on my craft mat, I added a bit of Barn Door Distress Ink to give the flower more depth.  I then stacked them, punched a hole through the centers and stuck a small brad through.  Then I pressed the top few blossoms together and preened until it appeared fluffy.


  1. INTERESTING....And I too love to eat them. I cheat a lot with dying. My method of choice is to ink something up with a stamp pad and spritz (dump) rubbing alcohol over it. Usually use a cookie tray to let it all dry. It's cool, but you do never know what might happen.

  2. Very interesting! The color is pretty and it seems like you can control the process pretty well. Love your adventurous spirit.


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