The IMDI was created by Miriam C. Rice in 1985 to encourage the use of Fungal Pigments; to further research on their extraction and employment; to encourage research and cultivation of dye fungi; to financially assist artists and researchers to participate in the international symposia and exhibitions.

Sonoma County Mushroom Dyes at Pepperwood Preserve - 2013

The view to dye for, from Bechtel House at Pepperwood Preserve on November 17, 2013 as we explored some of the mushroom dyes to be found in Sonoma County, CA.

Photos by Myra Beebee

The hunt for fresh mushrooms began for me on a foray the previous day up in the Douglas fir forest at Pepperwood, hoping to find some fresh fungi to "show and tell" during an unusually dry Autumn season. And there they were, fresh Phaeolus schweinitzii - rain, or no rain, in all their pristine yellow-rimmed glory, perfect for our dyepots!
During the dye class the next day, We broke up the fresh fungi into tiny chunks, simmering them for about an hour in a large non-reactive pot Then we added samples of wool pre-mordanted with alum and iron, and simmered them for about 15 minutes and the wool dyes emerged
We also found one lone Pisolithus azhirus (P. tinctorius) to supplement some found earlier in summer which I had then put into a water solution. We simmered our wool samples for 15 minutes in the dyebath, and then decided to leave them in the bath longer, with great results of very rich golds & bronzes on our wool fibers. Silk scarves were added in afterwards.

The dried Gymnopilus spectabilus mushrooms that we used had been collected during the rainy Winter season of last year and dried. We simmered them for about 1/2 hour before adding our samples. Our dyes would have been brighter if the mushrooms were fresh

A handful of dried red- gilled Corintarius from Salt Point last winter demonstrated the water soluable bright red anthraquinone pigments to be found.

We dyed the yarn right in with the whole mushrooms to get the maximum colors.

(Photo by Moria Feighery-Ross)

(Photo of Cortinarius by D. Beebee)

Dyes samples left to right:

- Dermocybe phoenicia ( pH7);

- red gilled Cortinarius ;

- orange gill Dermocybe (pH4);

- Pisolithus arhizus;

- Phaeolus schweinitzii;

- Phaeolus + Dermocybe dyes;

- Gymnopilus spectabilus;

(Photo and Dye notes by Moria Feighery-Ross)

Mushrooms for Color Website designed by Dorothy Beebee © 2013
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