more mushroom dyeing madness

Dyeing with mushrooms has consumed my past couple of weekends. Here’s what I have so far…
more dyeing 2

greens and khakis

The coolest is this, these greens from Polyozellus multiplex,

The books generally recommend a 1:1 ratio of dry mushroom to wool, and since I had just half an ounce of the Polyozellus, I used half an ounce of wool. No mordant. Yowza the color! The yarn tyeing the skein is mordanted, and it is even darker. So I kept using the dyebath (still with the mushrooms), and even increasing the amount of wool, until the fifth time through, when I had 1.5 ounces of wool… First time is on the right, 5th on the left. The dyebath was pretty exhausted by then, eh?
polyozellus no. 5 polyozella 2011 Sept 29 UMA 134

Fungi photo from DH, who says this species isn’t common and appears rarely. Hopefully we’ll find it again!

Here’s another where I used the dyebath a second time, Paxillus atrotomentosus. The color from the first bath is more true in the photo on the right. It’s a vaguely purpley gray. Second time? Khaki green.
pax atrotomentosus 1 and 2 pax atrotomentosus no. 1

Here’s some more khaki greens/greenish tans/mushroom colors!
khaki greens

The yarn was pre-mordanted with alum unless noted, and 1:1 ratio of dry mushroom to wool. Most of the fungi pics are from DH.

  • The two Paxillus atrotomentus on the left
    Paxillus atrotemtosus 8
  • Cortinarius whiteii aka C. limonius (iron in the dyebath at the end)… it’s very pale, and there isn’t much of it
    cort whiteii Aziscohos Mtn (22)
  • Paxillus involutus
    Paxillus involutus (1)
  • Hydnellum of some species that DH and I are trying to settle on (alum with the dyebath)
    Hydnellum Jimmy Pond 10-8-10 276
  • Ischnoderma resinosa (4 quarts chopped fresh to 4 ounces wool). This is a better color in real life.
    ischnoderma resinosa

DH thinks it’s Hydnellum aurantiacum, but based on the dye results, I wonder if it’s Hydnellum spongiosipes.


You may know I love the gold from Phaeolus… Here’s more,
phaeolus 1 and 2 (2 is overdye)
The lower skein is pre-mordanted with alum, the yarn above it is overdyed…actually some of it is the same yarn I overdyed with the Cortinarius semisanguineus.

reds and salmons

reds to salmon
Mostly you saw this before

  • The far left (very pale tan) is from Omphalotus, we think O. olearius…
    Omphalotus olearius
  • Next is a bit from Cortinarius armillatus
    Cortinarius armillatus
  • Next is a bit of overdyed yarn, with Cortinarius semisanguineus
  • two skeins of the second time with the C. semisanguineus (unmordanted on the left, mordanted on the right)
  • the far right is the first bath.

next up

I have 4 ounces or so of wool in a dyebath with the lobster mushrooms… So far it’s pretty disappointing. I learned that raising the pH does good things… but not so much.

I also learned that raising the pH for any of the polypores can be a good thing. I hear mixed things about doing so for Phaeolus.

I haven’t had good luck with the iron afterbaths. I remove the wool from the dyebath, dissolve up the appropriate amount of iron, put in the dyebath, mix it all up, put the wool back, and simmer another half hour or more. If anybody has hints or suggestions, I’m all ears.

Anyhow, I have 4 ounces undyed wool left, and I plan to overdye at least half of the skeins from the Omphalotus (it’s too pale) and the second time through with the Cortinarius semisanguineus. This wool is for a sweater for DH… so I’d be happier with a few darker colors tossed in.

I’m thinking Ischnoderma with a higher pH (supposed to get a blackish brown with an iron afterbath). We also have a lot of Chaga (Inonutus obliquus) around. It is supposed to give a light golden brown, and a grayish brown with iron. So I’ll probably do some of that too.

8 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Chris said,

    October 28, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    I’m still in shock over all the amazing colors you can get from mushrooms!

  2. 2

    Eryka said,

    October 28, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    I am amazed that you did all of that with mushrooms! what talent!

  3. 3

    kmkat said,

    October 29, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    I keep seeing all those lovely muted colors together in a fair isle. Gorgeous!

  4. 4

    jessie said,

    October 30, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    Wow, wow, wow. Absolutely beautiful. How colorfast?

  5. 5

    Melinda Butcher said,

    November 1, 2011 @ 2:46 pm


  6. 6

    Mom said,

    November 4, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    What else could one expect from such a beautiful talented daughter? Not that I’m prejudiced, of course. Truth is truth is truth is truth!

  7. 7

    cedar said,

    November 14, 2011 @ 7:41 pm

    I loved the polyozelus, we don’t have it here on the west coast, but the colors you got were great…although we are in the midst of cortinarius bliss here…4 types and the dye pots are simmering perpetually. Nice site, it was fun to see all your wonderful work with mushrooms.

  8. 8

    cedar said,

    November 20, 2011 @ 11:39 am

    Just wanted to say that I love your colours you get with those shrooms, some of those are not available on the west coast and I am envious of those…lol We are in the midst of the sanguinea right now and hoping the frost doesnt end it all…

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