Fungi again

The narrow road leading to the church in Findon is lined on both sides with trees and on one old beech tree stump I found some intriguing fungi, which as usual I haven’t managed to identify. Of course I tried some small samples out in the dyepot but sadly, as the photo below shows, the results were not particularly worthwhile.


Skeins dyed using the fungi shown in the first two photos below


 These samples were all dyed using an alum mordant.














These fine specimens looked wonderful growing all around the tree stump and gave the colour shown on the left-hand skein (plus a pinch of iron) and the centre skein.









These were lying on the grass and looked quite sinister. They gave the colour shown on the right-hand skein.








I think this might be a specimen of Hoof Fungus Fomes fomentarius. It certainly resembles a horse’s hoof and I didn’t want to disturb it for the dyepot.









Might the upper fungus in this photo be Ganoderma applanatum or Artist’s fungus? Whatever these fungi may be, they looked too attractive to sacrifice for the dyepot.

A few days later my husband pointed out some mushrooms growing on our front lawn, which I think are probably a species of Hygrocybe. These proved more useful in the dye pot and gave a pretty shade of yellow on an alum mordant. I’m afraid I forgot to photograph the mushrooms before I used them in the dyepot, so the photo below of the dyed skein shows the used mushrooms from the dyebath, plus one fresh mushroom I managed to find. I should also add that the depth of yellow achieved was actually considerably deeper than it appears in the photo.

Skein dyed using mushrooms from our lawn

Skein dyed using mushrooms from our lawn

6 replies
  1. Ambra
    Ambra says:

    That is very interesting. Here in Iceland lichen were much used for dye and the scent (a plesant one) would follow the fabric or yarn almost forever. The colours Iðve have been light brown to orange. The mushrooms are quite a surprise. Never seen that.

  2. Sandra Rude
    Sandra Rude says:

    Many weaving (or knitting) projects need a nice neutral to set off more saturated colors, so when my natural dyes give me neutrals, I always treasure them for the enhancing effect they have on other hues. Each plays a part.

  3. Leena
    Leena says:

    Hi Jenny,
    I’m glad you got nice yellow from you local fungi.
    I’m afraid I don’t know the first two mushrooms in the pictures but Fomes fomentarius and Ganoderma look like themselves:) Neither one is an annual fungi, but when eventually (two to four years) they start to die, and I think just before that you can pick them with good consience. I agree that shelf fungi look so attractive that is is a pity to pick them, and many times you can get the same colors from plants.

  4. else
    else says:

    The top mushroom is Meripilus giganteus – almost always on beech stumps and at the foot of dying beech trees.

Comments are closed.