Dyeing Wool With Avocado

Spoiler alert: I need to try a different method next time.

Spoiler alert: I need to try a different method next time.

I’d heard you could dye yarn or fiber with avocado skins awhile back, so I’ve been saving them for a year or so. When I remembered. Then I heard the pits could be used too! And when I finished spinning this little skein of wool, Jacob asked if I was going to dye it, so naturally my first thought was of those dry skins in the cupboard and the four ripe avocados on the counter. I chopped up two pits, added 24 grams of dried avocado skin, 1 cup distilled vinegar, and 3 cups of tap water. I simmered that for about 40 minutes, let it cool, and added my skein, which I had washed in dish soap, rinsed, and soaked for several hours. I brought it back to the simmer, let it cook until Brian told me it was starting to smell (I have a cold), turned off the heat and opened it the next morning. Humph.

I’d heard of & seen such lovely colors from avocado seeds & skins, but all I got was tan. Light tan. Not a bad color, but… Eh. I have some pennies in a jar of vinegar water and some rusty nuts & bolts in another, so when those solutions are done I’ll try them out on the yarn. They say iron makes things blacker, and copper can bring out green, yellow, or bluish tones. We’ll see. I also should head to the store to get some alum, as that makes a good mordant for wool. This summer I want to try out buckthorn bark and berries, and I just put some birch bark (the inner bark) in a jar. Supposedly it gives pink shades… I’ll have to do some research.

Even though my first results were so-so, I’m definitely inspired!


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