Natural Dye Journal Entry 2: “Avocado” Pink Natural Dye (without avocado)

Natural Dye Journal Entries are my way of documenting parts of my natural dye journey! This post will reference advanced dye topics/methods about obtaining “avocado” pink using other natural dyes, without going into detail and explaining each part for a new dyer. Do you have any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and I will answer it to the best of my abilities! If you are a dyer and have any suggestions or corrections for me, I would also love to hear from you! (And if you are looking for beginner guides/tutorials, please check this link here!)

obtaining "avocado" pink natural dye without using avocado and using other colorfast natural dyes

“Avocado” Pink

(without avocado)

Natural Dye: “Avocado” Pink (without avocado)

Avocado pits and skins have long been hailed as a “gateway dye.” These food waste components allow a dyer to obtain beautiful hues ranging from peach to tan to pink in color with relative colorfastness due to their high levels of tannin. If it wasn’t for my own experiments with avocados, I probably wouldn’t be a natural dyer!

The trouble with using avocado pits and skin for pink is that no matter the mordant or modifiers used, in time, it will shift and fade to a light, tan color. For this reason, it must be considered a fugitive dye. Nevertheless, I have always loved the dusty pink that avocado gives, so I was determined to recreate it with tried and true dyes that won’t shift and fade. I decided to use a combination of Cutch and Cochineal for this experiment.

Note: Cutch is usually recommended to be used at 20% WOF and Cochineal is usually recommended to be used at 10% WOF (per Botanical Colors.) I wanted a lighter color; so I used 25% of what is usually used from each dye.

“Avocado” Pink (without avocado) Notes

Whole Madder Root (Rubia tinctorum)
Soda Ash + Detergent @ 1% WOF each
Botanical Colors
– Tannic Acid from Chestnut Bark @ 5% WOF
– Aluminum Acetate @ 10% WOF
– Wheat Bran (Post mordant bath) @ 5% WOF
200 grams of fiber
Madder Root @ 100% WOF = 200 grams
2 Pairs of Socks:
51% Hemp, 38% Organic Cotton, 11% Spandex

(Dye Extraction)
1. Soaked the roots overnight in a warm bath + dumped out the “yellows” from the roots.
2. Added fresh tap water to the pot with roots to extract the “red” dye. Strained out roots.
(Temp: ~150*F | Extraction Time: ~2hr.)

(Dye Process)
I suspended the resist-clamped hemp socks above the dye pot so that just the cuff was below the dye’s surface. Later, I also added a second pair that was fully submerged in the dye bath. The socks were heated for a full hour and left to sit in the dye pot for some time after that.
The socks were allowed to dry and were then rinsed and laundered.
(Temp: ~150*F | Extraction Time: ~1hr.)

(Extraction Methods)
– The Art and Science of Natural Dyes:
Principles, Experiments, and Results (Book)
– Botanical Color’s Website
– Maiwa’s Natural Dye Website
– Conversing with other dyers who have used and experimented with madder

Do you like how I documented this dye journal entry?

Get your own paper dye journal printable in my Cultivating Creativity publication!



I’m so happy with the color’s I’ve obtained with cutch + cochineal in both the original and the exhaust bath for duplicating the avocado pink color. The exhaust bath may be a truer color due to the fact that I’ve never achieved such a deep, deep color from avocado as the velour’s dye job.

Compare the images below:

[left: avocado dye with a soy binder]

[right: exhaust bath from this post with a tannin/alum mordant]


I plan to experiment with lower WOF percentages in the future to mimic the effects of the exhaust bath. I would also like to adjust the ratios to have a higher cutch to cochineal ratio to attempt to duplicate avocado pit/skin’s more peach tones that occur at a lower ph.

You can shop pink-dyed fabrics below…

obtaining "avocado" pink natural dye without using avocado and using other colorfast natural dyes

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