Marigold Flower Dye

So, I finally tried to dye cotton fabric and wool yarn with marigold flowers.
I first needed to know how many flowers can dye how much of fabrics, and found around 200-250 flowers can make 1 oz of dried flower petals.

(A bag of 1oz of dried flower petals.)

And these are how much I was able to dye from 206 flowers.

(The yarn in the most left with some darker sections had grayish-brownish color in advance.)

I watched a few youtube videos and read some blogs about dyeing with marigold flowers. I appreciate those who share their knowledge and experience but I am not good at following instructions from those dyers, so did a minimum of what I thought I needed to do - so often my experiences don't turn well and waste some time... 

Anyway, a little over a pound of cotton fabric and 14 oz of wool yarn became mustard color, which the color I love. The color becomes lighter while dyeing a few times. I wasn't thinking of dyeing yarn but got tired of cotton and I got the impression from the blogs and videos that wool yarn can absorb more color than cotton but I think it's about the same. 

(I had some natural color wool yarns that came from Goodwill as a sweater.)

(Darker vs lighter color. The lighter one was soaked in the dye bath again to get more shade later, and it went well.)

First, I put the 206 flowers and water into my dyeing pan (stainless) and simmered for about 40 min.

(Water amount is just to cover the whole flowers.)

(Nice red color appeared after simmering.)

(Removed the cooked flowers from the pan.)

(I didn't expect to see this dark rich color!)

I read the cream of tartar and alum as mordants are used at the same time, but I used only alum because that is what I had in my hand. Since it was a block, I didn't measure the right amount. The block weighed 60g (about 2oz).

Also, the materials you are going to dye are supposed to be soaked in alum solution prior to adding them to the dye bath, but I tossed the block of alum into the dye bath and waited until it was resolved. I read either way work but my way would result in the color be lighter. I would try the other way next time. 

Then, I put the prepared fabric for dye (wet and tied) into the dye bath and heated on low heat, simmered for about 40 min. 

After it cooled down, took the fabric out of the pan, rinsed in water 3 times, and washed with detergent for delicate clothes. 

Dried the fabric.

The color comparison between onion skin (the left) - marigold (the center) - turmeric powder (the right).

I used the fresh flowers this time since I read fresh or dried doesn't matter. I thought the color wouldn't be much different as long as the amount of flower petals is almost the same. 

Next time, I would try iron mordant which gives more shade, also will soak the materials in the mordant solution before adding it in a dye bath. I will probably make the solution with pieces of iron and vinegar.

I like natural plant dye because I don't have to take time and prepare the space only for it. I just have to have an extra pan in my kitchen stove and can do it while doing house chores. On the other hand, chemical dye requires planning. Once it started, I have to finish and clean it. I really need a determination like "I WILL DYE TODAY!" 

Anyway, I am thinking of sharing my dried marigold petals at a reasonable price at Etsy since I have plenty. I have asked my art quilting group if someone is interested in the marigold dye, but only one person wanted to try (so she got it).

Hope someone enjoys the beautiful petals.