Avocados are just full of fun surprises. The superfood is not only bursting with tons of amazing nutritional benefits (even from the pits!), they can also be used for craftier purposes. Instead of just tossing out the peels after you’ve scraped out all the pulp for your meal, the bumpy skin can be used to make natural dyes for fabric. However, you shouldn’t expect the shade those peels create to match the bright green fruit it once contained. Oddly enough, they actually produce a lovely soft pink hue!
How to Dye Fabric with Avocado Peels
You’ll need about three to four avocados’ worth of skins. Blogger Rebecca Desnos explains on her website that it’s best to use fresh peels in order to achieve a more vibrant color. Most of us aren’t dyeing fabrics quite as often as she is, though, so freezing them is the next best option for storing. She reassures that “they can still produce exceptional pinks after quite some time.” Desnos also notes that the color can vary from season to season, depending on the avocado.
It’s important to get as much of the pulp off the peels as possible before storing in order to avoid brownish hues from your dye. You can use the pits for a slightly different shade, too. Liya Mira, a self-taught natural dyer, shared her tips on Mochni. She points out that natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, and silk will take the dye much easier.
Once you’ve gathered enough peels, heat them in water on the stove — but don’t try cranking up the heat to boil them in an attempt to make things go faster. Patiently allowing the peels to simmer on a low flame for about an hour will give you a much better color. You’ll need to strain out the peels, as Mira explains that “there’s nothing more annoying than picking bits of avocado from your fabric later on.” You can save the used skins to make more dye later!
Mira recommends leaving your fabric soaking in the dye overnight to achieve the strongest color, but you can experiment with timing to create an array of shades. You can also try using different types of water like salt water (non-iodized), rain water, or filtered. As Desnos says, “Experimentation is key, so you need to see what works for you.” And even though the dusty pink shade is subtle, the dye should last you a good long time before any fading!