Colours from Kitchen Waste

I always have a plastic bucket in my kitchen to gather onion skins for dyeing yarn, but more recently I discovered that avocado skins will also give colour. I have seen mixed results with avocado, mostly ranging from the palest pink to light shades of grey. So I wasn’t totally convinced that this would work. But I set up another plastic bucket to save the avocado skins rather than putting them down the waste disposal. I also kept the pits as they have valuable tannin, which is needed for mordanting plant fibres.
After I had gathered about 5-6 avocado skins, in various stages of drying and mold, I put these into my dye vat and heated it up for a few hours. Some pinkish shade of colour did appear in the dye solution. Fingers crossed and hopeful…

Avocado Skins

I removed all the avocado skins and I added the Seacell yarn that I had handspun into the avocado dye stock solution. I put the lid onto the stock pot and let the yarn simmer for a few hours.

Seacell Avocado Dye

To my delight and surprise the seacell yarn had taken the colour quite nicely.

I let the dyebath cool and removed the yarn. I rinsed it out and let it dry. The yarn did lighten a bit once it dried, but I am quite pleased with the colour.

Avocado dyed Seacell Yarn

And using my red onion skin bath I also dyed some handspun flax yarn.

Onion Skin dyed Handspun Flax yarn

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Author: admin

I am a handweaver, spinner, feltmaker and dyer. My work is influenced by my Saami and Scandinavian heritage.