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Experiments in Natural Dyeing with Lichen

I was so lucky to be able to go to my friend's beautiful family cabin on Georgian Bay a couple of weeks ago, and while I was there I got the chance to do a little lichen collecting for a natural dyeing experiment.
From what I can tell with my limited lichen identification skills, I gathered some each of Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans; the orange one), Hammered Shield Lichen (Parmelia sulcata; flat blue-green), and Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangiferina).
I'm trying both the ammonia method (a 3 month long steep in ammonia and water, shaking the jar daily) and the boiling water method (it's as simple as it sounds) to extract the colour. The boiling water method is much quicker, but produce much more subtle colours. I'll post the results of the boiling water batch soon.
The ammonia method, on the other hand, has already been looking pretty dramatic! Take a look at the change in the liquid after only 3 days!
The jar with the Hammered Shield Lichen is completely opaque with a dark amber liquid!
I'm very excited to see the results! I'll be posting them soon.


  • Kerri

    Will do Dyeing Wool Forevery:) I’m been letting them sit in ammonia for a year now! I plan to dye with them next year and post about it!

  • Dyeing Wool Forevery

    This is super cool. Do you have photos on how everything turned out?

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