Friday, April 6, 2012

Love Lichen!

Lichen does not turn out a stunning color like indigo but I firmly believe that there is a place for ANY color therefore I love all colors, just in their right context for me! Keep in mind that anytime you vary the fiber, the temperature, the type of water.....maybe even the phase of the moon! can get different results. It's chemistry lab all over again!!! Plus there are various types of lichen!

We started with this batch of lichen.

Judith and lichen

Judith, she of the still blue hands, layered our fibers with lichen in a big pot. I've read since that you can use cheesecloth and make giant tea bag of lichen but we didn't have any of that and Judith felt we would get better results with the lichen distributed throughout.

Into the pot it goes
Water was added. I confess I cannot remember if we added any other stuff like mordants, etc. I think just water was added and then the whole 'a watched pot never boils' came into play. The pot was left to simmer while we all went off and found/bought more fiber to toss into the indigo!

The next day
The pot was left overnight and then the next day we
checked the fiber. Obviously it has been allowed to cool! (Notice how much of the blue has disappeared from her hand! No turned even bluer when we got back to the indigo.) There were some pretty varied results in there!

Lichen and fiber after the dyeing

Such lovely shades of golden orange!


Mary was excited about the color of her hank of fiber! Such a warm and inviting hue.....

.....and today I leave you with a photo of one tiny flower that was near the dye pots. I'm glad I got the photo because the flower was shriveled by the next day. One of my fellow weavers says this is spider wort but I have no idea. If you know a more accurate identity please let me know!

Spider wort



  1. Now I look at downed branches in a whole new way! Mmh

  2. i need the "before lichen" photo...what color was the "before"?


  3. That spider wort looks like it has an old man face. I was mesmerized. (karyn)