Avocado Dye and Inky Dinky Do

If you read last post (Weekend with a Llama (Inky Dinky Doo) you would already know that I am not Inky Dinky Done with the alpaca fiber.   (I also learned from a very kind reader the word wool is only used for sheep…  Leonor was very kind to point this out and clarifying that “fiber” is the best word for generically describing Inky Dinky Do’s hair.   She is an amazing textile artist and you would do well to check out her blog and her store- Felt Buddies and Yarns )

I also want to clear up one more thing from the last post.   In my Inky Dinky Don’t section I mentioned you shouldn’t taste the fibers.  I think I owe more of an explanation. (so you won’t think I am weird)  In between washes I made a peanut butter and honey sandwich.   I worked with the fibers and not thinking  immediately took a bite of my sandwich.  What I didn’t know is that there was a small romantic spark between the alpaca fibers and the honey and they had “hooked up” on my sandwich.   As one thing led to another they tried to elope and took a ride into my mouth with that bite. YES…I am not exaggerating and you know during a wedding when they ask “if anyone objects to this marriage, let them speak now or forever hold their peace” … well my taste buds and mouth both raised their hands…

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Llama fibers that were washed and explained in last post.   This is what we are going to dye with Avocados.

If you are confused by all of this Inky Dinky talk you may want to read the previous post.  This is a continuation of last post.   In this post I am going to dye the alpaca fibers with an avocado dye.  I have been thinking about this day for a long time…don’t laugh… I am being honest.   I landed by happenstance on dyeing with avocado pits while searching natural dyes last May and I really liked the color.    If you don’t know  the color that comes from dyeing with avocado pits…you should continue reading.  The color may surprise you… or it may not I am not going to promise anything.

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Step 1: Prepare the fibers to receive the color by impregnating them with a mordant (as least I think you should do this… Please feel welcome to correct me or add anything I might be missing).   The mordant solution I will be using is an alum  and tartaric acid mix.    I use 6 grams of  alum and 5 grams of tartartic acid.

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I poor this into 1 gallon of distilled water and heat it up (not too hot we don’t want to create felt).   Once it is warm add the fibers.  Let the fibers soak  for at least two hours.  I should add a warning that if you have too much alum the fibers will become “sticky”.

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Step 2:   Create the dye by boiling avocado pits.  I  tried this with “old – frozen” avocado pits but it doesn’t work as well… plus I had a little mishap… so I ran to the store and bought 10 avocados  (kind of expensive) and started over.   After seeing the difference in color  I recommend using “fresh” pits.   Cut the pits out and do what every you want with the skins and flesh (nothing creepy please… that popped in my head when I re-read “skins and flesh”) Place the pits in a gallon of distilled water.   Simmer the pits until you see a deep red color.  This can take a long time… 2 – 5 hours.  Don’t let the pot run out of water.   (umm… yes I did this with my first batch… that was the “little mishap”)

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Step 3:  Let the solution cool down and filter the pits and other avocado bits out by passing it through a colander lined with cheese cloth… or any other filter.

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Step 4:  Place the wool into the warm dye water and let it sit over night.   If the fibers are damp when added to the avocado pit water it will dye more evenly (at least from my experience).   I was told that some dyers prefer that it be uneven (art yarn).  Which ever way it turns out… I am going to lie and say that I planned it that way.

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Step 5:  Remove wool from the dye and let dry.  This will take longer than you expect.  (you can spin it in the washing machine if you want to speed up the drying)

… et Voila!

Pinky Dinky Doo

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I really like this “dusty pink”…  My daughter Gwen wanted it darker, but I like this color kind of an “antique pink”.   Hmm… I guess it is ok to admit my like for pink… especially since I used the word “Fabulous” in the last post. (Caitlyn Jenner is not that only one that can break down gender stereotypes)

Stay nearby… there is more Inky Dinky to Do… (coming, carding, and spinningNow I have to figure out what to do with all of those avocados… hmmm.

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23 thoughts on “Avocado Dye and Inky Dinky Do”

  1. Wow! You got a great color! Just some tips/things to try for next time: rinse the avocado pits (and skins – they give color too, a muddier pink) to get all the flesh off because it can dull the dye (but you had great results so I guess YMMV). You can also chop the pits up to release more color, it runs throughout the pit & they are surprisingly easy to chop up. You can also slwoly leach the dye from the dye materials using solar heat, the same process for making sun tea but leave it longer (as long as possible before it starts getting moldy) for a stronger dye. But again, you got great results so I don’t know why I’m even mentioning this stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! 😀

    I see you’re not a fan of the fibre sandwich (neither am I, but believe me I’ve ended up tasting them in my food on certain occasions…) – is it a case of saying not all fibre is good in your diet?…

    I don’t do natural dyeing, but I wonder if you’d get a deeper colour by letting the dye cool down completely, and then adding the llama hair and letting it come to a very gentle simmer for at least half an hour, then turning the heat off and letting the fibre cool down in the pot before touching it.
    I say this because there’s a huge difference in dye strength (in acid dyes) depending on the technique you use, for example, heat setting a skein in the microwave for a few minutes will yield a much softer colour than when you use the stove for 30-60 minutes…

    Looking forward to seeing your new results! I still like the soft, dusty pink though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks… I will have to give your advice a try… I have still yet to try an “acid dye”. I have wanted to every since I saw your blog… it is really amazing how many colors you are able to dye on one of your skeins.. (I was looking at your shop and saw the “fruit loops”skein… so cool )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hihi, another great achievement (expect nothing less from you). I know NOTHING about llama (other than Dalai Lama) or wool / fibre (the inedible type), but I enjoyed reading this very much. It’s been a great educational ride. Now, for some serious thoughts, I like the ultimate antique pink fibre, but…it was strangely more reminiscent of the original (untreated) llama wool shot than just the fresh white fibre?? (Please ignore my musings here, just those of an amateur who knows no better!)
    As for the remaining avocados, can I suggest that you make some smashed avocados and (a) use them as face paint for your kids, (b) facial mask for your wife, or (c) shaving cream for yourself perhaps? Of course, anything for smashed avocados other than smashed avocado sandwiches (‘cos that would be boring and we are not into boring are we?) Goodluck 😜😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jolene.. and now that you mention it… I agree it is similar to the original color… how funny.

      I have had two smashed avocado sandwiches… but I really appreciate your other ideas… will tell my wife to try it as a facial mask…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, it’s a different perspective from an untrained eye. Can I ask what you are planning to do with the pink wool though??
        I’m very upset that my avocado shaving cream is not flying off the shelf… (it should be never oily, never dry!) 🙄😝

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I believe with a nice dash of lemon juice added, you can successfully freeze guacamole.

    In any case, the pink you got is rather nice. You can also overdye it to make it darker(in other words put it through the dye process again). I guess next is carding it in preparation for spinning. If you decide to overdye, you might want to do it as yarn. In fact, if you make singles and then dye the singles and they PLY the singles, you’ll get a nice marl because each of the singles will be slightly different from each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You make me want to get all crafty, though I did get the tiniest twinge of Silence of the Lambs with the ‘skins and flesh’ in step 2…. glad you clarified it was ‘nothing creepy’. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annie thanks… that made me laugh. I felt the same way after reading what I wrote. I felt that I must clarify or lose readers. On another note… It has been a while since your last post… “pajamas and shrimp”. I was a bit disappointed when I found out “shrimp” wasn’t referring to a man you had dated… but your writings always make me laugh. I am anxiously awaiting your next adventure… especially now that you have gotten “all crafty”

      Like

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