samedi 21 mai 2011

Avocado Pits and Skins

I've been very busy getting ready for our big debut at the "Le Lot et La Laine" festival in July.  This hasn't left me with a lot of time to take pictures of my work, but I did manage to snap a few photos of a batch of skeins that I dyed with avocado pits and skins.

The dye kitchen
 Here's my method.  Wash skins and pits carefully.  Chop them up into little pieces and throw them in a zip lock bag in the freezer until you have enough for a dyeing session.  Find a nice large glass jar with a tight fitting lid and fill about one third of the jar with the frozen pits and skins.  Fill the jar up with a mixture of one part ammonia to two parts water.  Shake it up whenever you pass by the jar and let it ferment for at least a couple of days.  I let mine ferment for a week.  Be sure to filter the solution before you use it for dyeing.  I like to use pieces of old cotton bed sheets for filtering.  Coffee filters take too long.

Mohair skeins in the dye bath

Mohair skeins dyed with avocado pits and skins.
  I wasn't very scientific about this particular dye session, but it went very well.  I dyed four 100g skeins of mohair and two 100g skeins of silk merino lace weight with only about 200g of dye stuffs.  The mohair took a long time to absorb the dye.  

Mohair drying on the line.
The silk merino laceweight took the dye beautifully, but did seem to pick up some dark patches.  They might have come from a little bit of residue at the bottom of the pot.  I have another bag of chopped up avocado pits in the freezer right now.  Skins and pits give dusty rose colors.  Pits only give red-oranges.  I'm looking forward to trying the pits on their own. 

9 commentaires:

  1. That is fascinating. I didn't know Avocado skin and pits could be used for dyeing. Great colour, I can't wait to try that. I wonder how light fast it is?

  2. Great colours! I love your idea of freezing the pits until later. I've got my first batch of pits soaking in ammonia/water right now. Can't wait to test it out!

  3. Do you mean Haas Avocados? The ones with a black, wrinkly skin? Ours here in Costa Rica are smooth and green. I wonder if they work the same.

  4. I, too, cannot wait to begin experiment.

  5. Butt ammonia is dangerous for our skin, so you're not truly making a natural dye.