July 10, 2015
This July, the Asheville Mushroom Club was honored to have the rare opportunity to learn about natural dyeing with mushrooms and mycopigments from one of the leaders in the field, Alissa Allen. Alissa is a life-long student and teacher of the natural world and has been experimenting with and teaching about mushroom pigments for over 15 years. Her workshop was met with much excitement and enthusiasm. In this 3 hour workshop, we learned how to dye silk scarves with several colors from mushrooms and lichen, and we also became tie dye experts.
The mushrooms and colors are listed below:
- Yellow: Phaeolus schweinitzii Dyer's Polypore with alum
- Green: Phaeolus schweinitzii Dyer's Polypore with iron
- Brown: Pisolithus tinctorius Dyer's Puffball with iron
- Golden brown: Pisolithus tinctorius Dyer's Puffball with alum
- Orchid: Umbilicaria mammulata Rock Tripe
Everyone took home at least 4 beautifully dyed silk scarves at the end of the evening. The workshop attendees also left with some extra dye eager to try this at home. Thank you to Alissa Allen and all of the mushroom club members who made this workshop possible.
Alissa Allen is an amateur mycologist and dye instructor who specializes in presenting regional mushroom and lichen dye palettes to communities all over the country. Her teaching style reaches out to novices, and her knowledge keeps experienced mushroom hunters and fiber artists engaged. Alissa has been sharing her passion for mushroom and lichen dyes and collaborating with other dyers for over 12 years. She has written articles for her website as well as Fibershed and Fungi Magazine. She has recently created two active discussion groups Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United and The Mushroom Dyers Trading Post. She is dedicated to encouraging the art and science of mushroom and lichen dyeing through engaging community participation. To read more about her work, visit her website: http://mycopigments.com.