lichen – progress

I am still extracting dye from Xanthoria parietina, yellow wall lichen. Here is the color right now, deep red with pinkish hint, perhaps more like a raspberry juice. I started this jar on April 21st and will wait till the end of May and then dye. I have got another three jars set up, the colour of the  liquid in them quickly cought up with this first one, but there are slight differences, one jar more towards terracotta red, one deep redcurrent red. I can’t open the four jars inside because of the pungent smell and can’t leave them outside because of a very cold weather so it’s more complicated to aerate the mass inside. I now stir it only 1-2 max 3 times a day and all seams to work just as well as when I did it more often. I get a feeling it’s more warmth which matters and to ensure that I have one jar on the radiator and three in a ‘water bath’ – sitting in a pot filled with water which I occasionally heat up.

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7 thoughts on “lichen – progress

  1. Wonderful color! I haven’t done much with lichens, just one or two attempts with lackluster results. You make me want to try again. (tho I don’t know if we have the same kinds…)

  2. What a wonderful color! Well worth the assault on your nose!
    It must be magical….. watching the color shift.
    How big are your jars?
    Will the smell dissipate when the fiber is laundered?
    I can hardly wait until the end of the month, to see what you dye!!

    • 🙂 Julie, I have 2 x one litre jars and 2 x 300 ml. The color changed from orange to red quite quickly, now it’s deepening. The smell should go, ammonia will evaporate. I am not sure if I will get reds or just puce as books say. x

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