Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dyeing With Marigold

Last years Marigold Garden yielded quite a bit of flowers. I did, however, forget to harvest the plant tops as I did in the previous year (they're still in the freezer). I harvested the fully open flowers at least once a week. My mom also assisted and picked marigolds from her yard and saved them in her freezer for me. After each harvest, I weighed, bagged, labeled and froze the flower heads. I have enough for quite a bit of yarn/fiber.

I used alum to mordant just one skein of a nice silk/bamboo (51/49) yarn from Dharma Trading Company. While the yarn was simmering in the solution, I started up another pot with the flowers, complete with their sepals. I did an experiment and found that without the sepals, the solution was yellow, and with them, a brilliant orange. The yarn weighed in at 100g, so I used 100g of flowers as well (100% of weight).

I let both pots cool overnight.

The next morning I removed the yarn from the mordant solution. With gloved hands I gently squeezed the yarn to extract as much of the alum solution as I could. Then I rinsed it in plain water a few times and into the dye pot it went (strained of the flower heads). I slowly raised the temperature up between 165-170 degrees (not quite simmering point due to the silk). I let the yarn 'simmer' at this temp for about 40 minutes. Then I turned off the heat and let the whole thing cool overnight - again.

The next day I washed and rinsed the yarn and hung it up to dry.

The color didn't turn out as expected. I was hoping for more of a golden-orange. But I have to admit, I love the clear gold that was produced. I can't complain about that.

1 comment:

linda said...

This was really informative. I am about to start with a marigold dye on wool and seeing the results you got is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.