Lichen experiment on wool

A local tree gave up dead limbs from a recent storm. I noticed they were covered with lichen so It was time for an experiment before they were carted off.  I am always amazed at how nature continues to give to us.

The tiniest bit of lichen in boiling water immediately began giving color. The cup in the foreground is image image

the color within seconds of adding boiling water. You can see the color in the back cups after resting overnight. The left cup had a dash of bakng soda added, the right cup had a spash of ammonia added. The hanks are 1 yard of white homespun wool left overnight.

I can see that lichens are deserving of a dyer’s respect and further experimenting along with eco printing. However, a warning I keep reading about is to never remove these from a standing tree or rock. Only take windfall that might otherwise be headed for the burn pile. I don’t fully understand their part in our ecosystem but it is wise to be kind to nature.

My Dye Spot 2014

dye spot 1_014

Here is where I have tried to organize my natural dye stuff. My sweet DH is so understanding,

This used to be the office as you can tell by the real wood blinds and Ralph Lauren paper on

the walls. The Oriental rug has been taken to storage leaving the concrete floor.

acorn stew 1_14

Old Patron liquor bottles make wonderful dye extraction jugs. These were put together

this morning with acorns, the one on the left with ammonia and the right with alcohol.

I love that the extraction was almost instantaneous and you can see the dye coming off the nuts.

I lichen it

This is a tray of lichen we gathered on our walk the other day. After it is dry, I will crush it to extract the dye.

The color will depend a lot on the mordant I use.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside my  spot.  We have our eyes open for an old kitchen sink and cabinet to make a wet area.