Natural Dyes – Lichens

Lichen

Lichens are classified on the basis of their structure and can be divided into 3 major groups.

Crustose
Crustose lichens are usually found on rocks, or on wood or tree bark. The entire thallus(or body of the lichen) is attached to the substrate. When the edges of the thallus are free from the substrate, the crustose lichen is called squamulose.

Foliose
Foliose lichens are leaf-like or have distinct lobes. They are attached to the substrate by rhizines from a differentiated lower cortex.
Fruticose
Fruticose lichen are radially symmetric. The thallus is or more or less round, may be hollow or filled with white, cottony fungal hyphae. Fruticose lichen may also have a bushy structure.

Lichens, The Microbial World
Detailed photos of types of lichen and their structure.

Lichen Use, Sorted by Taxon
An extensive database on the human use of lichens in medicine, food and dye material.

Lichen Dye Photos
This site has photos of a few lichen and the dyes colors produced: Oak moss (Evernia Prunastri) Letharia vulpina, Hypogymnia imshaugii, Platismatia glauca, Usnea .

Stefan’s Florilegium: Dyeing techniques and discussion
Mark Harris has edited a list of discussions related to historical dye techniques.

Part 1, Part 2

About Using Lichen for dyes

Lichen Dyed and Felted Slippers

Natural Dyes Index

Natural Dye Books
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers

The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present by Jenny Dean (2014-06-10)
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

EBAY – NATURAL DYES
NATURAL DYES – US
NATURAL DYES – UK

Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by Paivi Suomi

By Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi