Exploring Wild Mushroom and Lichen Dyes 

DSC_2347Explore your Regional Dye Palette – Every region has its own palette of mushroom and lichen dyes.  This class takes an in-depth look at using local, wild fungi as sustainable, safe dye sources. Starting with 10-12 different species, with the addition of safe mordants and pH modifiers, we end up with about 20 colors in all.

 

Wild Harvest All of the dyes used are ethically harvested, dried, and weighed (using some fresh material if available). Students learn about mushroom safety, identification basics, habitats and ethical harvest. Participants receive a customized two page color guide to the best regional dye mushrooms and lichens and learn where to go for help with identification.

 

Working with Fiber We work with wool and silk fiber. Yarn for class is pre-mordanted to allow ample time to focus on dyes, however we discuss the steps for preparing the fibers for the dye bath. This includes scouring, mordanting, and  techniques to avoid felting wool.

 

Shibori demonstration Participants are guided through the steps to create an intricate arashi shibori inspired design. Each participant receives a blank scarf for practice.

 

Takeaways This workshop covers all aspects of getting started with mushroom and lichen dyes and leaves the student with the tools to carry on with their own exploration.