Last week I had the opportunity to attend a Mushroom and Lichen Dye workshop being held as a part of this year's NAMA foray. Taught by Alissa Allen, the Mycopigments class charged though 40 different color samples achieved through variations in pH levels, mordant, and mushroom combinations. Our samples were dyed on wool, although similar, more muted, colors were also effective on cotton. By using dried mushrooms, the weight ratio of mushroom to wool can be more easily controlled, and the colors produced are more consistent.
The second portion of the workshop gave us the chance to create block printed silk scarves with textile designer Liann Finnerty. Using a combination of iron mordant, gum Tragacanth, and mycopigment, we could apply the thickened dye with a brush to add prints to our scarves.