December 18, 2012

DYING WITH AVOCADO PEELS

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.






2 comments:

  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.

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  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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