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more beige

January 30, 2011

this lovely colony of polypores–shelf-like or bracket-like fungi–are growing on the stump of my lilac tree.

 they are trametes versicolor, a cousin to phaeolus schweinitzii or dyer’s polypore which, as its name suggests, is an excellent source of dye.

they can be variously coloured, have a velvety feel and are white on the underside. I understand that the ones with a blue colouring will give a dye. Wouldn’t they make beautiful dance skirts? 

 alas, after simmering for an hour, adding a tiny amount of alum, more simmering, adding some ammonia–the colour is beige. On cotton pre-mordanted with alum and silk yarn and fabric. The chopped-up mushroom pieces are still hard and rubbery. I have read that they can be used to make paper.

The book is “The Rainbow Beneath My Feet, A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide”   by Arleen Rainis Bessette and Alan E. Bessette.  I also refer to the pocket guide of “All That the Rain Promises, and More…”  by David Arora, a great little book I carry in my backpack.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2011 1:30 pm

    i had way too many gold/tan/orange/mushy colors and after a while i got discouraged. i hope you find a hidden pigment, though!


  2. January 30, 2011 12:16 pm

    shame but keep on tryingxxlynda


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