Google+ Followers

Monday, 3 March 2014

Dying with Lichen Stage 3

This is the first wool I dyed with the lichen soaked in urine.  The smell did not really improve and now it is more like the smell of boiling stale fish!!  This is skein of Wensleydale yarn about 100 grams and the colour is coffee brown.  Brown is a very difficult colour to photograph and it has come out a little pale on my monitor,  maybe that is because I took the photo in bright sunshine.  I now have the third lot of wool in the pot and so I reckon that the bucket of lichen that took me about 10 minutes to collect will have dyed over 500 grams of wool.  However the lichen may be fairly rare but as I have already said not around here.   It is a very large growing species and so is quick to collect. I have only gathered it off the ground or off dead trees  


  1. Replies
    1. The urine seems to remove the colour out of the lichen, but I think that the Lobaria will produce the brown colour if it it is simmered for hours in soft water. The urine seemed to speed up this process. The joys of dying with lichen is that it appears that no mordants are needed to fix the the colours. I have the other lichen maturing on the window sill in ammonia and I am going to give the same lichen a go with urine

  2. I find very interesting to know about dying Mary...
    4 years ago I was in a course of natural dyes and really enjoy ..
    but it seems does't work for linen, only for yard .told me the teacher.
    I love natural fibers and I rather prefer natural dyes that chemical ones ..
    Thanks for explanations ..

    1. Plant and animal fibers are totally different and the commercial dyes I use are only suitable for animal fibers. Somewhere is my house I have a book that explains how to use natural dyes on plant fibers. I must try to find it and let you know what it is. There appears to be very little written about lichen but one would think that the mills in Ireland must have used something to dye linen

    2. Thanks for taking the time on looking forward to dye linen..
      I think industry usually use chemicals..but I'm sure in Eco industries I must find something natural for it (vegetal or mineral) I have no time for research...but is a pending resolution I will thinking on it :-))