Directions, in picture form, of how to dye wool (or any natural fiber) with marigolds.

Here's the book I use as basic information: "The Complete Natural Dyeing Guide" by Marie Sugar, published by Rug Hooking Magazine.

I began by gathering the marigold flower heads.

As you can see by the measuring lines on the pan, I gathered about 4 cups.

Spread out a piece of cheesecloth and place your flowers there.

Use some string and tie the cloth tightly into a bag.

Place the bag of flowers in a pan and fill with water to cover.

Weight the bag with a saucer and I put a rock on top to hold the flowers under water.  Wait 24 hours before going on to the next step.

Fill a large pan with water and squirt in some wetting agent per directions.  If you don't have any you can squirt in a few drops of dish detergent BUT you'll have to let it set overnight because the fiber must be thoroughly wet.  Since I use the Wetter Than Wet, I could proceed in 10 minutes.  [NOTE: I am told that Jet Dry works just as well as Wetter Than Wet as a wetting agent, but I couldn't verify this.]

Here's what the bottle looks like; I order this product online.

So here's the wool I'm using, soaking for 10 minutes in the wetting agent.

Meanwhile, I removed the wool from the pan and here I am adding 2 t. alum and...

1 t. cream of tartar to the pot of water.  This is the mordant that makes the dye "take".

Stir well to dissolve the alum and cream of tartar.

Add the wool and stir.

Turn up the heat and simmer uncovered for one hour over low temp.

Cover and let sit for 24 hours.  (Since I don't have a lid that fits this pan, I use foil.)

Next day, remove the wool from the mordant water and gently squeeze (don't wring) the wool.  Rinse out the pan.

Pour your marigold water and bag of flowers into your large pot.

Squeeze the bag of flowers to release as much of the "dye" as possible.

Throw the bag back in and add water that you think will cover your fabric.  Simmer this mixture for one hour.

Meanwhile, rinse the wool in warm water.

After the one hour, add the fabric to your dye pot and stir.  You can either leave the flower bag in the pot or not at your discretion.  Simmer for 1 hour uncovered.

Cover and let sit 24 hours.

Remove your fabric from the dye bath and rinse well in warm water.  Not too hot or not too cold; you don't want to "felt" your wool.

I dried the wool in the dryer with a load of jeans.  Here's the finished product.

If you have any questions, email me.  My email address is in the "Welcome" section on the right.