The Power of Pink + How to Dye with Avocado Pits

The color Pink has wonderful properties. As a blend of Red (bravery, passion and determination) and White (lightness, insight and innocence), Pink is intuitive, hopeful and loving, but also playful, nurturing and understanding. Is Pink your favorite color? You are loving, kind and sensitive to others. You long to be accepted for who you are and you lean toward childlike wonder and optimism. I've always been a huge fan of pink for many reasons, one of which is that it often reminds me of my maternal grandma, whom I associate with roses and peonies. 

For a couple months now I've been seeing several social media posts featuring fabric dyed the most gorgeous shades of vintage pink and when I first discovered the dye came from avocado skins or pits, I was amazed! I knew I had to try it for myself to see if it really was as easy as everyone made it sound. It is. So I'm excited to share the process with you, because I'm guessing you love pink, too. (It can be our secret if you like.) If you wish to try this process, start saving your avocado pits. Rinse off the fruit flesh and keep them fresh in a container in your refrigerator until you have enough to give the dye bath a good shot at working—8–12 or so.

And . . . because of the loving properties of Pink, I'll share with you a self-love project that I created using the fabrics you'll see me dye, so come back to check that out if you're curious about ideas for using the fabric made from this easy process. OK, let's get to it!

What You Need

  • avocado pits (I used 10 from a variety of avocado types)
  • fabric to dye
  • soup pot (dedicated to dyeing)
  • stove
  • water

 

1. Decide what fabric you want to dye. I chose a light cotton, some muslin, a wide piece of lace, some recycled silk strip and some new silk cord.

1. Decide what fabric you want to dye. I chose a light cotton, some muslin, a wide piece of lace, some recycled silk strip and some new silk cord.

2. Place fresh avocado pits in a pot and fill with enough water to cover your fabric, plus what will boil off. It doesn't look like it here, but this is about 6" (15cm) of water. Note: Use a pot that will not be used later for cooking. 

2. Place fresh avocado pits in a pot and fill with enough water to cover your fabric, plus what will boil off. It doesn't look like it here, but this is about 6" (15cm) of water. Note: Use a pot that will not be used later for cooking. 

3. Place pot on the stove and bring to a boil.

3. Place pot on the stove and bring to a boil.

4. While you're waiting for the water to boil, if you want to try a bit of tie-dyeing, prepare a piece of fabric for that now but some combination of folding and banding. I decided to give it a try with my largest piece of fabric—the cotton.

4. While you're waiting for the water to boil, if you want to try a bit of tie-dyeing, prepare a piece of fabric for that now but some combination of folding and banding. I decided to give it a try with my largest piece of fabric—the cotton.

5. As the water heats, you'll see it begin to turn the water pink. When it reaches a full boil, it's time to add the fabric.

5. As the water heats, you'll see it begin to turn the water pink. When it reaches a full boil, it's time to add the fabric.

6. Dyeing professionals will tell you to prepare your fabric before dyeing it. They'll also say to get the fabric wet before placing it into the dye bath. I didn't do either. I just plopped the dry fabric, one piece at a time, into the bath and smooshed it down to cover it all. I know getting it wet first helps keep the color uniform, but I was actually hoping for some irregularity (hence trying the tie-dye for one piece), so I didn't worry about it.

6. Dyeing professionals will tell you to prepare your fabric before dyeing it. They'll also say to get the fabric wet before placing it into the dye bath. I didn't do either. I just plopped the dry fabric, one piece at a time, into the bath and smooshed it down to cover it all. I know getting it wet first helps keep the color uniform, but I was actually hoping for some irregularity (hence trying the tie-dye for one piece), so I didn't worry about it.

7. Reduce heat to a simmer. I let my fabric simmer in the dye bath for a half hour. Remove from the heat. You can rinse and dry your fabric now, but the color will be pale. Leave it in the room-temperature bath overnight for stronger color. I chose to remove the recycled silk and not leave it in the bath with the rest. (You can actually see what I used the recycled silk for in this previous post featuring a beaded bracelet.)

7. Reduce heat to a simmer. I let my fabric simmer in the dye bath for a half hour. Remove from the heat. You can rinse and dry your fabric now, but the color will be pale. Leave it in the room-temperature bath overnight for stronger color. I chose to remove the recycled silk and not leave it in the bath with the rest. (You can actually see what I used the recycled silk for in this previous post featuring a beaded bracelet.)

8. After leaving the fabric in the cooled dye bath overnight, wring out the pieces, rinse them well and let them dry. Isn't this color gorgeous??

8. After leaving the fabric in the cooled dye bath overnight, wring out the pieces, rinse them well and let them dry. Isn't this color gorgeous??

Now that I'm convinced how truly easy this process it, I'm going to start saving more pits and plan to dye a T-shirt or two—probably one solid and one with some tie-dye technique. I'll probably also look into suggestions for fixing the color so it withstands multiple washings. Or not, we'll see. :-)

Don't forget to check back on Thursday to see the pretty project I made using my pretty pink fabrics.

If you give this a try, I'd love to see what you create, keeping the powerful properties of pink in mind. So much loving potential here! xo