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Tagetes erecta


Marigolds are cultivated all over the world for decorative flowers, for religious festivals, and for use as a dye plant. The marigold is native to Central America. The Aztecs used it as a flavoring ingredient for cacao, and it is important in both Mexican and Indian cultures. They are rich in the orange-hued antioxidant beta carotene, making them a popular choice for making natural dyes for fabric or food.


Petals are trimmed from large orange, gold, and yellow marigolds and thoughtfully dried and mixed. Marigold flowers yield rich gold and yellowish-green to orange and tan. They can produce a rich, bronze-gold shade that leans toward olive or deep moss shades with the addition of iron. Plant tops yield greenish-yellow and olive tones. Add the flowers to the dye pot, cover with water and simmer for about one hour to extract the color. Strain off the liquid and return to the dye pot and add the fibers to the dye bath, slowly bringing the temperature up to about 180º F. Hold at temperature for about an hour, or until you are happy with the color. Each bag of dried flower is 28 grams and will dye 30-60 grams of fiber. Color fastness: very good


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