Monday, July 15, 2013

Dyeing with Wolf Lichen

Wolf Lichen
Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) is a yellow-green branching fungus that grows on
the bark of conifers (living and dead),
 and is toxic to mammals. It was historically
used as a poison for wolves and foxes (thus the name), and was used to make a
pigment for dyes and paints by the Native Americans in areas in which it grows.
It was also used in a healing poultice, and boiled for a drink to stop bleeding.

I visited CA last year and picked up some of this lichen off the ground - the yellow is amazing!  I plan on double dipping some of it in Indigo and I am sure the greens will be very bright as the yellow I got has an florescence too it.  Unbelievable that it's a natural color.

 I received a wonderful gift of a fleece this spring and decided to try my hand (again!) at washing it in the bathtub.  Much to my backs dismay I finished.  Outside to card and then spin.  I have two skeins so far and I might make another.  I do need to find a vest pattern I like as it would be a shame if I didn't take this project all the way from sheep to shawl.

 This is more the natural color (photo above) even though it looks doctored.  The other pictures have the yarn looking much more pale than it is.


Link Creations said...

Hey Julia!
I've dyed with this before and I love it! We have it in abundance here in Klamath Falls!!
Hope you are well!

Nicole Rogers Vannucchi said...

Hi Julia! I just love the color your wool turned. If you don't mind me asking, how did you process your dye? I just gathered a basketful of Wolf Lichen in the Yosemite, CA area!