If you don't already know, we love natural dyes at Half Asleep, and we love them even more when they are made with food waste. I first fell in love with natural dyes a few years ago when I was living in New York. I had read about them, but I had never experimented myself. I signed up for a workshop with María Elena Pombo, the founder of Fragmentario and the queen of all things avocado, and I immediately fell in love with the process. We used avocado seeds to dye scarves made with different fibers, each yielding a different hue of pink (pictured above).
Earlier this year, we saw everyone tie dyeing at home - and we wanted to join in on the fun. So we did, in the best way we know how: using natural dyes. I had naturally been collecting my avocado seeds throughout quarantine, and decided to give it a go with an old white t-shirt that needed a refresh.
Back in May, we shared a TikTok tutorial on how to naturally dye clothing using leftover avocado seeds (now on our Instagram Reels). In case you missed it, here it is:
And for those who prefer written out instructions, we've outlined the process below. But before you read, a quick disclaimer: I've never been one to follow food recipes to a T, and the same applies here. I eyeball it, I experiment, I fail, I try again. It's all part of the process. This is how I did it, but there are several different methods and processes. Check out the resources at the end of this article to learn more about natural dyeing.
It is also important to note that water PH levels, the minerals in the water, and other variants such as the type of avocados used, can yield varying results. Have fun and experiment!
How to Naturally Dye Fabric Using Avocado Seeds
5. Alter the Outcome (Optional)
The final product.
After washing several times, the color has not faded. You may find that the color changes over time, but that's the beauty of the process. You never know exactly what you'll end up with - but I am sure you'll love it.
Not into DIY? Shop our naturally dyed sleepwear dyed using plant-based ingredients such as indigo, turmeric, pomegranate skins.
I encourage you to read this article about María Elena Pombo, Fragmentario's founder, and learn more about her research, the natural dye process, and the beauty of this powerful fruit. For more information and tutorials on natural dyeing, check out these resources we love:
Instagram Accounts to Follow
Natural Dye Books:
Let us know if you give it a try!