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Themis and Thread: Natural Dyeing with Marigolds
Written by Eco Fashion World - Friday, 15 January 2016



EFW member, Themis and Thread, did a complete study on Marigolds this past Fall, to experiment with non-toxic natural dyeing methods and steam printing, to develop a new textile. They have dubbed the process "Heavy Petal" and they have been so generous in sharing the process with us, along with a more basic process you can try at home!

First, they started with a natural fiber and a bountiful marigold harvest. They dyed their organic cotton SimpliciT T-shirt in natural and a bolt of unbleached canvas.



Marigold petals must be separated from the flower pod. They use about one pound of petals per dye bath. The dye bath being the largest pot you have at home (they used what is generally known as a lobster pot). Their new textile was produced by steam printing, which involves a stove top steam printer.



¼ cup Alum (a safe mordant you can find where you buy canning supplies) is used to pre-treat the fabrics. This is what makes the dye vibrant and long-lasting, which is usually subbed with a very toxic heavy metal in conventional dyeing processes. In a large pot of boiling water, dissolve the alum then mix in your fabric. Let it boil for an hour then strain.

Next, boil another pot of water with the marigold petals for an hour, removing the petals after the hour with a strainer. For Themis and Thread’s steam printing method, they covered the bolt of fabric with flower petals and rolled it up onto a metal rod, then placed the rod into the steam printer. In that colorful bath, you then return the wet and treated fabric into the boiling pot for another hour. Carefully drain and rinse the now beautifully dyed fabric under hot water to cool until the water runs clear. Give your fabrics a final wash for its true color and, ta-daaaaa! … you have a color fast, naturally dyed batch of fabric or clothing that is unique and safe!



Off-gassing occurs in both garments and dyes alone. Toxic chemicals and heavy metals are conventionally used to make colors vibrant and long lasting. Dyes and fabrics treated with them begin off-gassing when not climate controlled, like when it’s hot, or when you’re working out.

Dyeing with marigolds and alum are entirely safe, long lasting and vibrant!

Themis and Thread is offering a Belt Pouch in Merry Gold, designed to hold cell phones, small note pads, check books, IDs, credit cards, whatever you need. It slides easily over any belt, and is an instant functional accessory. The non-toxic dyeing and mordanting methods used are safe, bright and unique. The Merry Gold canvas has an energetic, monochromatic, tie dye look, and the Belt Pouch has Themis and Thread's logo printed with environmentally friendly, water based inks. A hook and loop closure (like Velcro) seals the deal, ensuring your goods are safe and sound. Ditch the purse or wallet, dance all night, keep your necessities tight, and share the love.



Themis and Thread is taking pre-orders on the pouch now, via email. Write This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name, address and preferred payment method, include subject Line "Merry Me!" For those joining in on the earliest orders they are offering the Merry Gold Belt Pouch for just $25 through February 2!




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