Newsletter #1 from NORWAY ~ by Anna-Elise Torkelsen

Greetings from Norway from Anna-Elise Torkelsen!
The Norwegian Mushroom Dyers held their annual meeting on April 2th. Our group has 135 members and 52 of them joined this meeting. The topic for the main lecture was “Alpaca – natural luxury”. The lecturer, Line Werner, who owns 27 alpacas, is keeping them for their wonderful fibre which is soft and not itching. The alpaca fibres when mixed with 40 % merino wool give ”a nice wool”.

Preben Graae Sørensen gave a lecture on “How chemical tools can control the dyeing with Dermocybes”. The pH is important for the dye result. Dried, crushed and then soaked mushrooms give more (stronger) colour to the fibres than fresh mushrooms. We had also some short “5 minutes”.

Gry Handberg showed pictures from the 14 IFFS, Ruth Solem told about her dyeing experiments with Hapalopilus rutilans.

Liza Johansson told how she extracts the pigments for the watercolour drawings that she makes, and Anna-Elise Torkelsen gave a resumé of the fish skin tanning workshop she attended at the 14 IFFS in Gysinge.

The board members for 2011-2012 are: Gry Handberg, Eldbjørg Johansen, Ruth Solem, Lise Walter and Anna-Elise Torkelsen (leader).

Experiments with cold mordant: Betsy Samuelsen who could not attend the April meeting is the only Norwegian dyer who has experimented with cold mordant, and she has sent me a few lines on her experiment. She used four mushrooms: Ischnoderma benzoinum, Hydnellum caeruleum, Hydnellum suaveolens and Hydnellum ferrugineum. She had one skein of ”cold mordant” yarn and one of “warm alum mordant” yarn together in the dye pot. The colours came out
differently. The cold mordant yarn gave a slightly darker shade and a softer yarn, than the ordinary mordant yarn. The results: Greenish colours from the Hydnellums and light brown from the Ischnoderma.