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Foraging for colour 8: Gum Blossom

Simone Cross

I had no idea. It was getting frustrating not getting the usual pink from my avocado seeds - instead It was light peach in colour. It was summer and really hot and dry, and the water tasted funny. Hmm. Could it be that the pH of my water had changed (more chlorine for the bugs perhaps)? Was it something I did wrong?
All my plant extract colours started 'acting up'. Like when you have children, you think it's all sorted and then life changes! Time to go back to basics- back to testing everything, like in the lab.
I tested different types of avocados (supermarkets had imported types). I tested how quickly or slowly I boiled the Avos. I used different wool bases (yes, they all give a different colour!). I tried water from different taps, and different pots to dye in (enamel, st. Steel and glass). But still no pink! Then I used my pH paper and a modifier to increase the pH one increment at a time. Voila! or Ka-Ching! There came the pink! Indeed our tap water at home had changed pH.
In the photo above, from right to left are the avocado colours on yarn from low to high pH with a silver eucalypt skein to compare (far left).
You know the lovely surprise I got? At a higher pH, I got this new rich, deep, glorious colour (2nd from the left) that is a deep pink, called Gum Blossom.
So Gum Blossom, now has a new Australian shawl pattern designed to highlight its beauty. It will be coming out in a few weeks, so stay close, like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie!(May Gibbs) and see this beautiful design.
Time to forage s'more- enjoy your season change, whichever hemisphere(s) you reside.


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  • Diane on

    I know this is an older post, but I have the same “problem” with avocado. Pale peachy colour rather than the soft pink I was hoping for (numerous tries). Can you please tell me how you changed the ph? What was your modifier? Thank you x.

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