Preserving Flowers For Natural Dyeing

Preserving the gardens bounty isn't just for the kitchen and the medicine cabinet you can also harvest flowers and plants for dyeing fabric and yarn come winter.  You may remember the solar dyeing how-to blog post I did here last year.  I was looking forward to doing more dyeing projects this summer, but time has kind of caught up with me.  So I did a little research and came up with this method for saving some of the most prolific bloomers in my garden this year, marigolds!  Marigolds happen to make a beautiful yellow dye.  They work great with a dye bath for yardage or as a fun bundle dying project!

Step 1

Ok, so a bit of a no brainer, go find yourself some marigolds.  Pretty easy to do, because everyone plants them, I use them in the garden as a pest deterrent.  I'm not sure this actually works, but I love the way they look mixed in with the veggies, the flowers make beautiful bouquets, that smell great, and last for a week.  For all the container and city gardeners out there marigolds grow really well in pots, and are one of the easiest plants for city dwellers who want to try going dye plants.

Step 2

Get yourself some heavy duty thread, and a medium sized sewing needle.  I used quilting thread for this project.  I always seem to have it on hand, I really like to use it to reattach buttons because it is slightly thicker and sturdier than standard thread, but I also have used dental floss, no judgments.

Step 3 

Carefully thread the needle through the sturdiest part of the flower.

Continue till you have a long strand of flowers. 

Side note: The flowers can get surprisingly heavy, opt for multiple shorter strands vs one huge strand.  Much less likely to break.

Step 4

Hang to dry out of direct sunlight.  You want to store the dried flower heads in a sealed container, in a cool dark place and aim to use them in 6-8 months.


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