Dyeing with Avocado Pits Part 1

I don’t know where I ran across the blog on dyeing with avocado, but I eat a good amount of it and always feel guilty throwing it out.  My Son Brad and his wife Mari compost, but we don’t maintain a big enough garden to justify a compost heap.   So, when I read the blog and did some further research, I started freezing the pits and skins.

When I had about ten or eleven of them, I started my dyeing project.  There were several posts on how to dye with the pits.  One said to use the whole pit, another said to cut them.  I had started cutting them so I went with that.


I prepared some merino (76 gm, thick and thin yarn 4-8 gm, silk habatoi -1/4 yard, silk gauze 1/4 yd and cotton voile 1/8 yd) by washing with synthropol and rinsing then soaking.

I put the pits in about 2 gallons of water and brought it to a boil, added the fabrics, then simmered for an hour. I let it cool down then added the wool and let it sit overnight.


Here is what the liquid looked like.


After rinsing and letting it dry, here were the results:

20160122_110441Close ups:

20160122_110547 20160122_110538 The silks were a pinkish coppery color and the wools a lighter version.  The cotton voile was a brighter pink.

Have you ever tried this?

Next up is the avocado skins.  Stay tuned until next week…

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28 Responses to Dyeing with Avocado Pits Part 1

  1. zedster66 says:

    I never would have guessed those are the colours you’d get from avocado stones! Very interesting! Have you tried the skins yet and are just making us wait or doing that soon?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      I had an idea from some of the sites I visited, but of course, a lot depends on the water and if you use mordants. Evidently PH is a big factor. I have used the skins and the results are a little different. Yes, I’m going to make you wait a week. 🙂

  2. pamladds says:

    I also hated to waste pits and skin, and although I do compost I was still delighted when I found seeds can be eaten too. I don’t often dye anything and that would never use them all, but a combo might do it!!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks for the link Pam. I had no idea the pits were edible. Do you eat them now? Any favorite recipe?

  3. Leonor says:

    Another use for avocado pits! I use them as buttons 🙂

    This dusty rose is lovely, I’d never had guessed this is what you get from avocado pits. Looking forward to the results from dyeing the skins!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      I haven’t been able to use them for buttons. You did give me the directions. Somehow I end up cracking them. I may let them sit too long.

      Yes, the colors are nice. It’s interesting, difference between the silk and wool.

    • Leonor says:

      You need to cut them when they’re fresh, Marilyn! I also tried when they were dry but they did crack… Good luck 😀

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Leonor!

  4. nvukadinovic@gmail.com says:

    You got very nice colour, Marilyn. I have dyed with avocado pits too and without any mordant. Got the same colour. I love this rusty pink. I primarily dyed silk fabric also some wool.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Nada. The color is very nice. And it’s interesting to see the difference between the silk habatoi and gauze colors.

      Did you cut the pits or use them whole?

  5. luvswool says:

    The colors achieved from natural dyes are usually so soft and lovely, and your dyeing with avocado pits does not disappoint! I’ve never used avocados, but the shades you achieved reminds me of my dyeing with natural plants, barks, and berries last year.
    One question: are the pits difficult to cut?

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Cathy! I thought of the colors of dyeing you did last year I believe in Colorado. They aren’t that hard to cut if you have a good sharp knife. Better to do that before you freeze them. But you can also try using them whole, some of the directions said to use them whole.

  6. sunnysewsit says:

    My mom used to dye her graying hair with black walnut hulls. Worked well and it didn’t make the hair a brassy color as do commercial hair dyes. (She had a black walnut tree.)

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Black walnuts are on my list. I collected some over the summer. But I won’t be using it on my hair. 🙂

  7. Lyn says:

    As the avocado stones are a biscuity colour, the resulting dye is a lovely surprise!
    I’m expecting to see green through to aubergine from the skins dye – will I be surprised again?

  8. ruthlane says:

    I never would have guessed pink but I have little experience with natural dyes. And it always seems like you get something totally different than what you expect. Looking forward to seeing the results from the skins.

  9. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Ruth! This is my first time using natural dyes. I tried Eco printing but that didn’t turn out well at all.

  10. Jeannette says:

    Thanks for sharing your findings on dyeing with the pits. I have 2 bags of avocado skins in the freezer so I’m looking forward to seeing your results with those too.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Jeannette. Please share your results with us on the forum. It will be interesting to see any differences.

  11. Teri Berry says:

    I love the pink (and it’s not my favourite colour)! I can only seem to get browns and yellows from natural dyeing so I am hugely impressed by your results Marilyn

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Teri! Pink isn’t my color either, but I now have a granddaughter so I can think some pink and this is a nice mellow color. The cotton is pinker, the silk and wool have a coppery undertone.

  12. 1marylou says:

    Beautiful. What a unique color!

  13. Great colours. Did you keep the liquid? Will you try it with low and high PH?

  14. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Ann! Yes, I did keep a gallon of each. I may do just that. 🙂

  15. fionnaghala says:

    Looking forward to Part II – thanks!

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