Ever since I saw this image from Vtwonen doing the rounds on Pinterest I’ve been desperate to recreate that garland in my home. Sure, I’m lacking the Georgian proportions and beautifully weathered wall, but you work with what you’ve got, right?
Then I found a beautifully dyed blush cotton fabric (yep-on Pinterest again!) which was done using avocado pits and I just had to give it a try. I love the magic results that can come from dyeing with natural ingredients and have tried turmeric with wool before with some success. But who knew avocados could be responsible for that colour?! So out came my scraps of natural cotton and white canvas, 3 avocado pits and the biggest pan I could find. Eight hours later, I had 3 metres of the most gorgeous, subtle pink to work with and I turned it into this fabric garland to dress our dining space over Christmas. “Lahd a mercy!”
If you’d like to experiment with other natural colours, my Dyes & Pigments board is full of ideas to inspire. Now let’s get to it…
You Will Need –
3 metres of untreated or white cotton and/or canvas. Note that man made fibres don’t take dye very well. If you want a longer garland, just dye more fabric.
3 whole avocado pits – This was perfect for the amount of fabric I had and if you add more the colour will be more intense.
4 metres of thin rope – I used a silky kind from a haberdashery and you’ll need an extra metre on top of your desired length to allow you to tie it.
Make sure your fabric is clean before you dye. I washed mine without detergent on a rinse cycle and put it straight in.
✚ Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your clean avocado pits to it. Leave them to boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer with the lid on for an hour or until the water has reached the shade of pink you’re happy with.
✚ Remove the avocado pits, turn off the water and carefully submerge your fabric replacing the lid. Leave it for a good eight hours to steep.
✚ When you’re quite positively beaming with happiness at that soft pink (and only then) take out the fabric, rinse off the excess dye and hang it out to dry.
✚ When the fabric is completely dry, roughly iron it out. You’ll want to keep that rumpled effect but will need it straightened out a little.
✚ Making a snip into the fabric as you go, tear it into rough 2-3cm wide strips. Canvas won’t rip so scissors will do. They want to be around 57cm long.
✚ Double up each strip, loop the fabric over the rope and pull the two lengths through, pulling tight. Continue until all your strips are tied.
✚ Hang your garland and trim any strips that are too long, although you want it to look quite natural.
Quick Note: I didn’t use a mordant or fixer in this dye as I won’t be washing it, but there are recipes available that can advise on this.
Are you as crazy in love with this as I am? I mean…yyeeeeeah!!
If you’re still stuck for festive decor ideas, check back on Monday and I’ll show you how to style up a sideboard or shelf as I did in this ‘after’ shot.