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A. Lorrai~ Smith 49 in ammonia for ten days and then boiled with alum. ... because there is another type of lichen that, when fermented using a water and ammonia mixture, will make pink or purple dye! Karen Casselman has written a good book about lichen dyeing, Lichen Dyes, the New Sourcebook. Lichen required no mordant but were fermented with stale urine for several weeks over low heat. Dyeing with Lichen Dyes Lichen dyes don't need a mordant to bind to the protein material (such as wool and silk) being dyed, but mordants can change the colors of some dyes. After dying the yarn with the lichen dye, she is now hand knitting the wool into a sweater. In order to extract the dye, place the lichen in a glass jar and cover with ammonia. Although some sources recommend soaking this lichen in ammonia or using an alum mordant I have achieved good fast colours by simply simmering the wool with the lichen. A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers. She sourced Shetland wool from Breezy Manor Farms locally, and hand spun it into yarn. Dyeing with Lichen. This is a very distinctive lichen, unlike some of the others used for dyeing so it is impossible to mistake. The urine is aged to produce ammonia, which is then used to ferment lichen, indigo and woad to activate the dyestuff in those plants. In Scottish dyeing, they often worked with lichen. The lichens were fermented with fual (stale urine) for as long as three weeks over low heat. Lecanora tartarea, for instance, a true orchil lichen, in a successful experiment gave a delicate brown colour with a pinkish tinge after it had been fermented Lichen Dyes. -- Article on Orchil Dye. Lichen were gathered during the summer months and dried in the sun. Lichen is an indicator of clean air. Kathy fermented the lichen in ammonia to bring out the color or boiled it in water to extract the dyes. Any persistent small black flecks will fly off when the fleece is spun. I've got a couple of jars of that sitting on top of our fridge right now. Ammonia can be used for modern dyeing instead. And, there's one lichen that even dyes pink, and then the color turns to blue as the yarn dries in … Raw fleece does tend to get peppered with flecks of lichen which can be shaken off when the fleece is dry. Dyeing time might be up to four hours, or even longer for deeper, more color-fast dyes. Pee also makes a great modifier in natural dyeing - in that the ammonia in urine changes the PH of the dye bath to change the colour of the plant dye. Lichens are complicated. List of Native Irish and Scottish Dyes They are both an algae and a fungus. ... Fermented dyes can create redder tones by adding enough extra vinegar to make the dyebath acidic. They don’t grow where there is lots of air pollution or car exhaust. 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