The humble marigold makes a beautiful and easy color that captures summer even when the weather is cold and gray. They brighten flower borders and are a companion plant in organic gardening. Marigold (Tagetes erecta) is native to Central America. The Aztecs used it as a flavoring ingredient for cacao. It is important in both Aztec and Indian cultures. In Mexico, is also referred to as “Flor de Muertos” (Flowers of the Dead) and used in the Dia de los Muertos festivals and ceremonies. The deeply scented and brightly colored flower is believed to guide the spirits toward the elaborate altars decorated with sweets, mementos and remembrances of the dead. In addition, marigold garlands are used for weddings and other auspicious events in India. They use fresh garlands of marigold, jasmine and other flowers are for temple offerings.
Tips for Use:
As a dye, marigolds produce a rich, bronze-gold shade that veers toward olive or deep moss shades with the addition of iron. They are very easy to use. Simply add the dried marigolds to the dyepot and let the blossoms steep for a few minutes. Then add prepared yarn or fabric and watch the beautiful shade develop. If you prefer to keep the marigold bits from sticking to yarn, enclose the marigold flowers in a mesh bag that will contain the flower petals. You may also strain the dyebath before adding fibers. Use the dye bath multiple times for successively lighter shades. The spent flowers are compostable or perfect for eco-printing.
Our vividly colored Organically Grown Marigold Flowers are carefully dried in hoop houses. We sell our Marigold flowers in 50 gram packages. They will dye about 100-300 grams of fiber, depending on depth of shade.
So, if you’d like to try growing your own, select a few of the dried blossoms and carefully open them. A whole bunch of black, needle-shaped seeds will fall out of the dried calyx. Plant in the spring when the weather warms.