Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

While being home more frequently, I have a whole new set of hobbies to engage in whenever there is time. One of those past times has been making macrame plant hangers – I have made about 10 since lockdown began in March (2020). Arts and crafts have always given me a sense of purpose on their own, though I do enjoy learning more techniques as I become familiar with a new craft. I looked to Instagram mainly to get macrame inspired, and found so many talented designers to emulate in my next pieces. 

One of the more interesting things I found – which will come as no surprise – was the use of vegetable dyes to add colour to textiles. When I saw these creations, my mind immediately started dreaming of using the vegetables from my own garden to dye the ropes used in the macrame hangers.

*Full discretion, I am not patient enough to wait for growth and am out of macrame cord, but I wanted to get started right away on any vegetable dye experimentation.*

So here is my first dying using avocado pits and a pillow case! Ever notice how when an avocado is cut in half, the area around the pit becomes red-specked after sitting out for a bit? These pits produce a beautiful colouring when boiled in water, and the thread results are a deep pink/light red which is just gorgeous! And, IT IS SO EASY.

What you need: 

  • Minimum 3 avocados per 1 litre water
  • Pre-washed fabric or textile made from natural material
  • Tongs
  • Pot
  • Nice to have: sifter insert for pot

How to do it:

  1. Save those pits! Simply wash off excess avocado “meat” and freeze your pits instead of throwing into the compost bin. 
  2. When you have enough stashed away to make the desired amount of dye, add them to boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, simmer for 30 minutes – 1 hour. The longer you simmer, the deeper the dye colour will be. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a pair of tongs, remove the pits and any pieces of skin that may have peeled off, and discard in compost.
  4. Allow the dye to sit over night (or at least 4 hours) to strengthen.
  5. Place your fabric in a dye bath, ensuring all areas/folds are accessible to the dye. Let the dye and fabric get acquainted for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Strain the dye from the fabric and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Use a cold water bath for another 30 minutes to further allow the dye to seal into the fabric.
  7. Hang to dry, and enjoy!

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