Week 5: Dyeing Lab Report 

In this week’s lab, my group worked on dyeing Jacobs wool using dried marigold which results in a mustard yellow color. As a class, we also dyed wool purple using indigo pigment which was led by Alejandra. First, I will go over our results from the indigo pigment experiment and then delve into our group’s experiment with the marigold pigment. 


The fine indigo pigment was added to the pH-balanced water. As the water was stirred, foam began to form in the center, also known as a flower, which indicated that “oxygen was being produced” and the mixing of the water and indigo was successful. The temperature of the indigo solution was 28.5 degrees Celsius, while the pH of the water measured 7.2. The indigo weighed 20 grams, and the water volume was 5 gallons. 


With the marigold, our first step involved heating 1 gallon of water until it reached 33.8 degrees Celsius with the goal of reaching a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, akin to body temperature. This process required constant monitoring, as we alternated between placing the pot on and off the heat to reach the desired temperature and maintain that temperature.  We then prepared a tea bag/ cheesecloth and filled it with 50g of marigold flowers before tying it securely with string. The combined weight with the cheesecloth and marigold measured to be 62g, and the actual marigold content was 50g before being tied with a cheesecloth. We also measured the Jacobs wool at 100g of wool, with a width of 1.88 millimeters.

Once the marigold was securely tied in the cheesecloth and the water reached the optimal temperature, we submerged the marigold into the pot. Gradually, we noticed the yellow dye began to seep from the bag, tinting the water a shade of yellow. We allowed the marigold to steep for approximately 10 minutes until the water turned distinctly yellow. Then, we put the jacobs wool into the mixture to make the wool. I performed a dip test to see how the color adhered to the wool and it was pretty immediate. The wool was then left in the pot over the heat for the next hour. The temperature of the water mixture was 24.9 degrees Celsius when the wool was first put in the pot. 

Throughout the process, one challenge we faced was maintaining a consistent water temperature. Below is a table highlighting the change in temperature throughout our process ranging from 24.9 when we initially put the wool into the water to 49.4 at the highest temperature. We consistently took the pot off the fire when the temperature was too hot and let it cool for a couple of minutes and then put it back on the fire again when the temperatures dipped too low. 

Time (total 1 hour)12 min – When the wool was put  into the water containing the marigold.13 min  – removed the pot from the fire 17 min – pot placed back on the fire20 min — removed the pot from the fire40 min – placed back on the fire 50 min – removed from the fire 
Temperature in Celcius 24.944.931.549.428.050.0

At the end, we measured the water and the marigold: 

WaterBefore: 4 kg After: 2.96kg (account for spillage)
Marigold Before: 62gAfter: 214 grams 

There was some spillage as we attempted to pour the dyed water mixture into the gallon water bottle, therefore, the values for that measurement have a larger standard error than other measurements comparatively.

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