If you were to guess at which colour avocado seeds can turn fabrics, you would probably choose green, right?
Well, much to everyone’s surprise, a natural dye made from our favourite fruit turns out to be a beautiful pink!
Avocados – the gift that keeps on giving
Avocados are simply wonderful.
For a start, they provide a delicious food source, packed with vitamins, nutrients and monounsaturated fats.
That’s followed by the mouth-watering cooking oil we can extract from them, bottling it and using it to take our recipes to another level.
On top of that, even once we’ve eaten the fruit, even the seeds are useful!
A simple process allows us to make a fabric dye from them, 100% natural and free from harmful chemicals.
The dyeing process
To make natural dye from avocados, all you need are the big seeds in the middle of the fruit.
Those large, golden-brown pips contain a milky, tannin-rich liquid that blooms into a startling red ink when simmered in boiling water.
Before adding the pips to a pot, wash and dry them.
Remember, the pot needs to be big enough for the fabric you’re eventually going to dye, so plan ahead.
As a general rule, use about 5 avocado seeds per 250 grams of fabric (about half a pound).
Let the seeds bubble away for about half an hour, bumping into one another and losing their shells, turning the water a brilliant, scarlet red.
You can add the fabric to the water now if you’re in a rush, but we recommend letting it cool first before adding.
Once you have added the material, let it soak overnight. When it reaches your desired shade, remove it from the dye pot.
Rinse it in warm to cool water with a gentle fabric soap and then hang it out to dry.
Depending upon how many avocados you use and how long you let the mixture sit, the final colours can range from the palest shade of pink to a rich, deep rose.
The advantages of natural dying
Natural dyes are simply dyes which are derived from natural, organic products, such as fruits, flowers, plants, minerals or even the dried bodies of insects.
Until the mid-19th Century, natural dyes were the only way we could change the colour of fabric, but the invention of synthetic dyes changed the industry forever, and natural dyes soon became obsolete.
Recently, however, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of natural dyes, and for good reason.
The biggest advantage of natural dyes is simply in the name – they are natural.
They don’t contain any chemicals or toxins which are harmful to the environment and are biodegradable, so disposing of them doesn’t create pollution.
With environmentalism and sustainability being hot button issues, more and more people are choosing to use natural remedies for all manner of things, with homemade dyes being one of them.
Thank you avocados!
Although originating in South America and having been cultivated by humans for thousands of years, avocados earliest written mention only comes in 1519.
The conquistador Martin Fernandez de Enciso first wrote of them in a document called the Suma de geographia noting that the edible fruit is “like butter” and “of marvellous flavour, so good and pleasing to the palate that it is a marvellous thing.”
It was from this point on that the rest of the world fell in love with this remarkable fruit, and 500 years on, it is our privilege to make the finest avocado oil in the world.
If you would like to know more about our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or if you do have a go at creating your own dye from avocado seeds, then head on over to our Facebook page and lets us know how it went!
We would love to see your photos!