16 August 2010

e v e r n i a * p r u n a s t r i

well, first, I think that the lichen I used for dyeing this past weekend really is oakmoss, also known as Evernia Prunastri. I picked some last week, during our three-days trip to local mountains. (not higher than 1500 meters high)

evernia prunastri
(photo NOT from this trip, but found locally)

I mordanted my fabrics & fibers with alum. (like usual, if you follow my blog ... and if you are new to my blog, I try to always dye a bit of each of these : silk, linen, cotton crochet lace, silk yarn) But before mordating, a couple of days before, I had simmered/gently boiled the lichens, and had kept the dye bath in my bucket, which used to be stainless steel, but which isn't anymore. So the dye bath stayed there for three days approx.

(hot) dyeing with lichens

evernia prunastri lichen dyeing in the bucket

then, I put the dyebath back in the dye pot, simmered again, put the mordanted fabrics/fibers in, simmered the whole thing a bit, and then poured the dyebath & the fabrics/fibers BACK in the bucket. And left them for a good couple of hours. Then I rinced & put to dry in the shade. Iron when it was still a bit damp. And here's the result :

dyeing with lichen // results

dyeing with lichen // results

dyeing with lichen // results

it almost didn't bleed at all, and I think the result is really subtle & delicate at the same time. I am very pleased, and can't wait to have another opportunity to pick some. Don't worry though, I don't pick much at all, and where I picked these, there was a real bounty of this precise lichen. I know myself that lichen is a source of food for many animals, and my point is not to steal food from wild animals !


  1. I have some very similar lichen in my yard that I have been collecting when leafless branches fall off during windy days. This turned out to be a lovely color! I'll have to get dyeing with it soon!

  2. Very subtle and useful pieces Sonia :o)

  3. just gorgeous the process and the result


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