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
- Nice to have: sifter insert for pot
How to do it:
- Save those pits! Simply wash off excess avocado “meat” and freeze your pits instead of throwing into the compost bin.
- 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.
- Using a pair of tongs, remove the pits and any pieces of skin that may have peeled off, and discard in compost.
- Allow the dye to sit over night (or at least 4 hours) to strengthen.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hang to dry, and enjoy!