Biodesign Work in Progress

More mushrooms

After some reading and searching around the internet for more useful information I felt I should give it a try. How difficult could it be?

  1. Cut your mushrooms  into smaller pieces to enable best extraction of dye possible.
  2. Put them in a pot with water and bring up to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and let simmer for a while. At this stage the water should have changed its color, the longer you leave it the darker and deeper the color will be.
  4. Soak your textiles in water before submerging them into the dye. Preferably in the same temperature so that the fibers won’t be damaged. They longer they are left in water the better, it enables the fibers to open up and be more likely to pick up the dye better.
  5. Move textiles from water bath to dye bath.
  6. Never let the dye bath with your textiles boil, let it simmer and leave them until you are satisfied with the look.
  7. Rinse in water and leave to dry.


I have tried mushrooms I found in nature, fresh and dried from the supermarket. Most of the mushrooms I tried gave a subtle and earthy looking dye.


Many of the mushrooms documented are best extracted with the help of mordants (different salt solutions to change the pH-value of the dye bath which can either bloom or sadden a color). All the mordants I have used have been organic with one exception of soda crystals (pH-value 12-13). The reason for trying to go all organic is because I want to see if it is possible to dye your own textiles with local products and not in an artificial way that will destroy our environment.


Biodesign Work in Progress

The trip that sparked an idea

When me and Joanna met with Rebecca Yahr at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in the beginning of October she showed us many different things that all had fungi in common. The one thing that spoke to me the most was the samples of yarn that had been dyed with mushrooms. I had seen textiles being dyed with plants and other natural things but the thought that mushrooms would do the same thing had never crossed my mind. Intrigued to find out more I bought two books on the subject and started reading to learn more.