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Mexican Marigold or Cempasúchil flower or Mexican Marigold is native to Mexico. Its name comes from the Nahuatl "Cempohualxochitl" which means "twenty flowers" or "several flowers".

Mexican ancestors associated the yellow color of the cempasuchil flower with the sun, which is why they used it in offerings dedicated to their dead. Tradition marks the main road with cempasuchil flowers, guiding souls to the altars by making paths.


On November 1st and 2nd, the dead are celebrated in my homeland. These are days in which we can appreciate the most intense colour and smell of the flower. The Mexica considered the flower as a symbol of life and death.


In Mexico, the presence of 35 species of the flower has been reported, compared to 58 in North America. In Mexico, the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Michoacán and the State of Mexico are the ones with the most favourable soil and climate conditions for the production of cempasuchil.

The stem of the flower can reach up to a meter in height, while its buttons can reach five centimeters in diameter and only blooms after the rainy season.

Mexican Marigold

  • Also known as Mexican tarragon, it is a plant collected in the springtime when it is in bloom. It can be dried and used later throughout the year.

    Colour can range from a brilliant yellow to a light butter creme.

    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 leftover flowers are compostable or perfect for eco-printing.

  • Botanical name: Tagetes erecta

    Common names: Marigold, mexican marigold, big marigold, cempazúchitl or cempasúchil,

    Primary dyestuff: Flowers

    Primary dyestuff: A major source of caretanoids and Lutin.

    Class of dye: Adjective

    Light and wash-fastness: Medium

    Colour: As a dye, marigolds produce a rich, bronze-gold shade that veers toward olive or deep moss shades with the addition of iron.

    pH sensitivity: Medium

    Dye bath method: suitable for hot and cold method

    Recommended quantity of dye:  20-30% WOF for a medium depth of shade.

    Add the dried flowers (in powder form) to the dye pot, cover with water and simmer for half an hour to extract the colour. Strain the dye liquid and add to dye pot. Add fibres and simmer until the desired shade is achieved. With the addition of iron at 2% WOF warm olives can be produced.



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