Pericón (Tagetes lucida) is a perennial marigold native to Mexico and Central America. It grows approximately 30 inches tall with a bushy appearance. The plant is used as a medicinal herb and has a strong sweet anise odor. The leaves of the plant are brewed to help with colic, digestive problems and also as a tonic for pregnant women.
In the dye pot, pericón yields a soft yellow shade. When used as an overdye on light shades of indigo, it will create a light teal shade.
Fiber Preparation and Mordanting
Extracting the Dye
Use pericón at 100% WOF. Crumble the leaves and stems and place in a dye pot. Add enough water to cover and bring to a low simmer (approx. 170-180F). Hold at this temperature for 45 minutes. Strain the plant matter and reserve both the dye plant and the liquid. The strained liquid is your dye bath. You can repeat this step for a second extraction, and add to the first extraction. The used plant matter may be air dried and used in eco-printing or bundle dyeing, or composted.
You can also bring the pericón to a low simmer and allow it to steep overnight, which often yields a stronger dye bath.
Dyeing with Pericón
Once you have extracted the pericón, combine all the dye liquids into a dye pot and place on a heat source. Add mordanted yarn or fabric and begin to slowly heat the dye liquid. Bring it to 160-180F and hold for 45 minutes while gently rotating the fabric or yarn, being careful not to tangle or twist the fabric too much. Remove from heat and let the goods cool in the dye bath.
When cool enough to handle safely, remove your fiber from the dyebath and rinse. Air dry away from direct sunlight.