This was my first effort at dyeing with Oak Moss. This is a prolific lichen around here. I was hoping for purple, but decided I needed to leave it for longer. I added more lichen until the mixture was really thick and left it until a purple colour was coming out, about 3 months.I wasn’t sure I’d got the best colour at first, so I left the fibre in jars on the window sill for 5 days. It went rather brown, but came out a lovely lilac, particularly on the silk. I’ve still got some dye so I’ll have another go with a stronger mixture. I am so excited about this gorgeous pink. I can’t be sure I’ve correctly identified the lichen. It grows on willow trees locally. This is a reactive dye, which means it changes colour in the light, so I dried the fibre in my airing cupboard in order to keep this fabulous colour.
I added some bicarbonate of soda to the exhaust dyebath and some more fibre. The result was strangely slimy, especially on the blanket, which started falling apart when I washed it. My book told me that if I dried it in the shade I’d get purple, but I ended up drying it in the sun and getting blue on the silk or green on the wool. That’s a scrap of blanket at the bottom. The edges are stiff. I wonder if the ammonia caused the disintegration of the wool.
I’ve still got another lichen brewing, so more to come.