Batik: Using Natural Dye from Avocado

I have a thing for fabric. It’s a love affair really that started years ago when thrifting and yard sale hopping with my mom. She collected dollies and vintage handkerchiefs which eventually became the adornment of a handmade pillow.

My affair with fabric took hold when I had my own home to decorate.

I’ve collected paper thin linen, antique napkins with initials stitched on the corners, embroidered dish towels edged in lace that I turned into kitchen curtains and runners woven together with fiber and metal. I love to layer with fabrics and patterns of different hues and patterns. (I really could go on about it!)

Recently, a friend posted a project she did with her kids. She did a kid friendly version of batik using glue. I have always wanted to batik fabric! Batik is an Indonesian art form, using wax and dye to leave patterns on fabric.

Now, being the foodie that I am, I’ve also been looking for a reason to create natural dyes using food products, especially using Avocados from Mexico.

After a bit of research, I discovered that Avocados from Mexico, produce a subtle peachy pink color once you’ve boiled down the skins and seeds. To think, you take a fruit known for it’s green color and with a little love, you can produce a gorgeous pink hue from it’s skin and seed!

So, this morning, after a cup of coffee I set about cutting up,

and scooping out the flesh of 4 avocados.

I filled a large pan with water, the skins and seeds of the avocados and brought it all to a boil.

I let it boil for about 5 minutes then reduced to a simmer for another 10. I turned the stove off…

and ran to Target to purchase my favorite flour sack dish towels ($3.99 for a set of 4). 

At first, I thought I’d follow my friend, Pear Mama and do the glue resist batik, but…

realized, it would take all day for the glue to dry. Being impatient and without kids for the day, I dug into my candle drawer and found an old beeswax candle. With a saucepan of water and an old tin can, the candle quickly melted down into batik worthy wax.

I took three different size biscuit cutters and with a pair of tongs and a layer of wax paper (to protect my counter) I proceeded to dip the cutters in the hot wax and create a pattern on the dish towels.

I decided on using a repeating pattern of 6 rings to create a flower.

Once the wax had dried (it only took a few minutes) I added a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the strained avocado dye and soaked the dish towel for about 1/2 hour.

I hung the dish towel outside on my back porch (you don’t want to use your dryer as it will melt the wax) to dry. I set up my ironing board, iron (on high) and cut a few pieces of craft paper. (You want a layer of craft paper under the dish towel and on top of the dish towel.) Once the towel was dried, I put it between the craft paper (I had dollar store printed craft paper on hand) and began to iron. The wax adhered to the paper.

It took a few times to get all the wax off the dish towel, but once it was done, my batik dish towels revealed themselves!

With Mother’s Day coming up, wouldn’t this make a great gift?! I totally picture it on a breakfast tray next to a set of mix matched vintage plates and heirloom silverware. Again, it comes back to pattern and textures!

Because I had so much fun hand dying dish towels from avocado seeds and skins, I thought you might too! Today we are Giving Away a gift basket valued at $50 from Avocados from Mexico. The prize pack will include: a copy of Chef Roberto Santibañez’ cookbook, Truly Mexican; an “I <3 Avocado” t-shirt; a time-saving avocado slicer; and a $10 gift card to an area retailer where Avocados from Mexico are sold.

Our winner has been chosen!

 Congratulations to Kamille @ Redeeming the Table!  You won the gift basket from Avocados from Mexico! 


There are two ways to win:   This giveaway has closed.

1. Pin one of the photos to your Pinterest Board. (Make sure you come back here and leave a link to your pin!)

2. Leave a comment telling us your favorite way to enjoy avocados OR a favorite memory you share with your mom.

*The contest is open to US citizens and will close on April 7, 2013. 

*This is a sponsored post from One2One Network and Avocados from Mexico. But creative expression and execution are all my own.


  1. […] enjoying actually eating the avocado, I boiled and cooled the pits and skins according to the great tutorial on Love Feast Table. The part that foxed me lay in keeping the beeswax under enough control to make a recognisable […]