Dying Yarn With Hoonah Fungi

Hoonah Indian Association worked with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership and Karen Dillman of the Forest Service to put on a four-day mushroom workshop from 09/14 – 09/18. Hopefully you had a chance to meet Karen and Ron Hamill at their mushroom table near the canoe shed or during one of their presentations. Incredibly, they identified more than 75 mushroom species in a few days of walking around Hoonah. Our mushroom and lichen diversity is incredible in part to our old growth forests and clean air!

The four day workshop concluded with a demonstration on how to dye yarn and silk from mushrooms and lichen found in Hoonah. The results were spectacular! Did you know that Chilkat Robes were dyed using lichens?? Ian Johnson (HIA Environmental Coordinator, Sustainable Southeast Partnership Community Catalyst) wrote about the whole experience on his website. You can see the full article at : http://ianajohnson.com/local-fungi-dye/

An excerpt :

“Everyone knows that some mushrooms are edible, but did you know that certain species of fungi and lichen can create dye for yarn and other materials in every spectrum of the rainbow?  When Gasselman wrote her book “The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyers Field Guide”, she was being quite literal! I had the unique opportunity to scout for local dying mushrooms as part of a workshop led by SE Alaska mycologist Karen Dillman. We used the newly acquired mushrooms to dye yarn and silks. There is no doubt that I look at the forest floor with a different level of detail now! I think I may be hooked on this unique form of creating color.”

Check out the resulting, incredible colors of the dye!


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.