October Eco Printing: Golden Rod and Tagetes Marigold on vintage cloth

My stash is continuing to provide fibres for my dye pots. Stash busting was my goal for this year and that is how I happened on eco printing and natural dyeing. What to do with all those luscious vintage linens and cottons from my ever-expanding hoard?  And as one fibre art friend remarked: And now you have a new stash…


Here is the fruit of one October dye pot: a mix of marigold (tagetes)  and Golden Rod dyes, combined in a bucket and, for a few weeks at the end of September, where it became home to some of my pre-alum-mordanted vintage cloth while I was too busy to dye on the hot plate.

 White to start with, lace-trimmed cotton and embroidered linen – plus a small twist of silk embroidery thread.  Amounts of dye? Whatever!…This is about “What If I try….???”

The colours are three shades of chartreuse with the darkest colour on the (unmordanted) silk thread and the lightest on the cotton. I had to scan the textiles in to get an image close in colour to the original. The scanned image, while much better than the one from my Point and Shoot, still does not do justice to those luscious yellow-greens.

Here is what the dye pots looked like while the cloth was brewing away in the sunshine on my deck:

On the right is the marigold- golden rod mix dye; on the left is the marigold alone. Note the fall leaves on the deck…While I was away the lids blew off the buckets and some leaves fell in the brew…so who knows what they added to the colours?

This is the GoldenRod still in the dye pot, cooked out and left to extract more colour but not drained…note the mould. Some dye authors say to just sweep off the mould and heat up the dye again..which I am about to do.

And here is Mouldy Goldy – the golden rod blooms are still yellow and leaves are still green even after cooking out and soaking, ignored and neglected for more than two weeks. Andf they still smell lovely.

Next post about these linens will show some eco printing!