These samples are the result of dye experiments by myself and my fiber demonstration partner and longtime fiber artist, Dhar Benker. I used about 150g in total; a small skein of handspun wool and a larger one of commercial baby alpaca. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants. The others, turned out to be a very soft pink or purle. Lichens are one of the most ancient life forms on our planet. Do I have to dry the lichens for any length of time before attempting the dye and which is the stronger way to dye wool with lichens? ... For this lichen, all you need is some wool yarn, a pot of water, heat and the lichen. The colour proved wash-fast, but fell a long way short of the rich brick red I was hoping for. Also, some should be boiled directly and some should be soaked in ammonia for 3 months. It is often seen much smaller on tombstones and boulders in arid conditions; places where it is best left for the enhancement of the landscape. Hey you definitely did not use the right lichen for this one, if your heart is set on purple/red and pink shades you definitely need to ID your lichen before you start as they are only a few that will react with ammonia well. Dyeing is also the commercially most valued application of lichens and lichen dyes had high monetary value for many centuries until the discovery of synthetic dyes in the latter half of the 19th century. It was historically used as a poison for wolves and foxes (thus the name), and was used to make a pigment for dyes and paints by the Native Americans in … The thatch on my roof has just been cleared of lichen. This week-long conference will feature dyeing and crafting workshops, lectures, field trips, and unstructured craft time. Wear gloves and try not to breathe it in. How to Dye Wool with Fresh Lichen. I simmered the pot for an hour, until they were as bright as they were going to get. If you're interested in seeing more on lichen dyeing… If the wool is left in the dye for a day or more after boiling it absorbs more colour, and it does not hurt the wool but leaves it soft and silky to the touch, though apt to be uneven in colour. Before the yarn can be dyed, the lichen needs to ferment in a solution of ammonia and water, and you need to stir it several times a day. lichen for 1 hour or more. Some lichens, the umbilicates, roccella and others can produce gorgeous reds, purples and blues, but I have yet to find them. I was entranced by the photo, so when my husband was in northern Michigan recently I asked him to bring me a little lichen. After gathering them and preparing a fermented ammonia dye vat last year, my first experiment didn’t turn out as expected. To remove any trace of ammonia, I washed the yarn with a little detergent, in a mesh bag using the washing machine’s wool programme. I was very excited to try it out, but I was moving – so into a box it went, and was carried by car all the way from Seattle to Massachusetts. We use these samples to demonstrate the range of colors available dyes from "natural" (non-synthetic) sources. Suzie, how should I store Lichen before use and how long can I keep it. This can be done with quarter ounce alum to one pound linen, after the linen has been prepared in the usual way. Once removed from the dye-pot, rinsed and set to dry in the sun, it immediately began to show a cyanotic bluing, as though the life was draining from its powder pink glow. Lichen dyes were unique in that they did not require any mordant or intermediary agent to be taken up by the fibers. Instead of bringing the dyestuffs to a high temperature on a stove, the dyestuffs are placed in a jar and steeped in water in full sunlight. I strained the mixture using a sieve into a large stainless steel pan and added two or three more litres of water. Solar dyeing with plants and lichen, is much like fermentation dyeing. The rainbow of colors achieved is just beautiful! We used the dyes that we created to stain wool yarn and silk scarves. This was the typical method for dyeing wool, and the method for dyeing silk was a variation of this method. After an hour of simmering I removed the pot from the heat and left to cool completely. Sometimes good things come to those who wait. Since then I’ve been determined to find these colorful pigments, and I started to explore the world of lichens, learning about many species. I added the yarn to the dye bath before heating. Procions are the most popular & widely used dyes for immersion dyeing, airbrush, ombre dyeing, tie dye, dyebath, splatter dyeing and hand painting on Cotton. Dyeing with Lichens. However, mordant is not necessary for lichen dyes, only mushrooms! It’s kind of like making a trifle. Lichen collected in South Wales, cleaned and dried. Dye material - #amount Water - to cover Simmer one hour, cool overnight in dyebath. Lichen dyes best with low heat and a long dyeing time. We want this to be a safe and welcoming space for everyone regardless of gender, heritage, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, body shape/size or other identity. There seem to be lots sellers offering it on eBay. The topic of wool dyeing is a very extensive one, and therefore can only be dealt with quite briefly in this lecture.
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