Naturally dyeing fabric with onions and avocados & Hapazome with flowers

There is something magical in the alchemy of using discarded kitchen scraps to turn fabric into beautiful hues. With relative ease and a therapeutic process you can breathe new life into tired clothes or sentimental fabric scraps. White onions create rich tones from saffron orange to rusty reds, avocado stones give surprising peony pinks and beautiful blush shades. Take time to collect enough skins and stones to make rich hues, you'll revel at the colours and hopefully keep coming back for more.

Your fabric, type of onions/avocados/water acidity/quantity will all play into your colour charts, so take notes along the way, as its nice to go back to it again and try something different.

This blog post is going to assume you'd like the easiest route possible to dye fabrics, and so steps to mordant the fabric have been left out (pre-treating fabric so it takes dye better).

Firstly I'd suggest finding pans you don't use everyday for cooking with, as they are likely to get stained. If you can find second hand stainless steel pans to use just for dyeing. You'll need one deep enough to carry the type of item you are dyeing, plus extra room so the fabric is not too crowded.

If it's your first time dyeing, I would also suggest finding a range of fabrics to dye, cut strips off old clothes/muslins, find some cotton or wool yarns, dry grasses, old t-shirts, and you can also buy silk squares or cushion covers to dye here.

The two dyes i'm using here have high tannin content, so fix well to fabrics and so mordanting is not as important. If you are making something that you want it more colourfast, use mordanting tips here. You'll notice in my images I tried fabric with mordant and without, but that was just to demonstrate that the results can be brighter with a mordant.

TOOLS:

Wooden Spoon (one you dont mind getting stained)

Pan

White Onion Skins (i had about 20 onions worth)

Avocado Stones (washed and dried- i used 7 in a small pan)

Water

Colander