Avocado peels

The story of the avocado peels is told a lot more quickly than it took to actually happen. Because, who actually eats that many avocado's? So I recruited my colleagues at work (some of whom tend to be very health conscious) and my studio "neighbour" (who eats an avocado a day) to save their avocado peels and seeds in the freezer for me. Combined with my own avocado waste I ended up with a nice amount of material after a few months. I counted the seeds and got about 37, but there may have been more peels because not everyone knew I wanted the seeds as well.

My avocado peel harvest.

My avocado peel harvest.

At first, I sorted the peels and seeds into separate pots because I was curious if there was a color difference. Some website had told me to add some ammonia to the water, so that is what I did. Also, boiling was not encouraged. I left the peels and seeds in their cold ammonia water to soak for just under a week. Also, supposedly no mordant was required, which is always a bonus! 

When I added fabric to the avocado water, it immediately turned a nice peachy orange. But there wasn't a noticeable difference between the seeds and the peel, except for the seeds being more pale, so I added both dye baths together since there really wasn't any point in keeping them separate anymore.

Peels on the left, seeds on the right.

Peels on the left, seeds on the right.

It's always encouraging to get a good color immediately after adding the fabric to the dye bath. Usually, leaving the fabric in for a longer time will give a more intense color since the fabric has more time to absorb the dye. I really liked the orangey-pink color and could have used a darker variety of that, but unfortunately, even after a few days of soaking, the color stayed more or less the same intensity.

On the plus side, when fabric takes a dye in such a way that it turns the "end" color right away, you can usually keep dipping fabric and get the same shade over and over until the dye bath is exhausted, so I got quite a few pieces of fabric in this shade, plus a bunch of wool roving. 

The wool and fabric are still wet in this picture.

The wool and fabric are still wet in this picture.

As usual, the color difference between the wet and dry fabric is quite extreme with this dye. Not only is the wet fabric more intensely colored, it is also a more orange, salmon-y color. The dry fabric leans more towards a pale dusty pink. I was hoping tha dyeing the fabric twice was going to make the color more intense, which is how the below picture happened - some fabric drying, some already dyed and dry fabric going back into the dye -, but to no avail.

Wet fabric in the back, dry fabric going back into the dye in the front.

Wet fabric in the back, dry fabric going back into the dye in the front.

Still, I like the color. It actually reminds me a bit of a (slightly too pink) white-person skin color, which has inspired me to look towards the human body for inspiration for whatever the next step is going to be. 

The softness and flexibility of textiles are also reminiscent of human flesh, which is why this might be a match made in heaven...