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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Dyeing with Lichen

This is a little experiment I did for TdF with some bags of lichen I've had sitting around for a while  (I always lay my lichens out to dry before storing them, otherwise they can go mouldy).  I used the boiling water method for these because I didn't have enough time to ferment them. 

This one grows quite flat on wooden branches and is sometimes difficult to remove without taking a bit of wood with it.  I try to avoid getting wood in my lichen dyes because it can dull the colours.  I think this is a Parmelia type, but no idea which.

The fleece came out quite pale, sort of a mix of beige and yellow, but was quite nice once spun.

The second batch was from a bag of mixed lichens :-

There's all sorts in here.

These gave a pretty pale yellow

which actually doesn't show up that well in the skein :-

Finally, I had a bag of this lichen.  I think it may be Usnea, but again, I'm not sure which one.

This one looked by far the deepest of the three

and much brighter when the locks were picked out and fluffed.

Not a bad colour :-

All of the skeins I've shown you were awaiting their final wash.  I was quite amazed to see them change and brighten as soon as they hit the soapy water.  Here they are finished :-

As you can see, there's not much difference between any of them.  Next time, I'll just put them all in together!

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