Experience / Events / Dyeing with Lichens

Dyeing with Lichens

Try out an old and almost forgotten dye source: lichens! A symbiotic organism that combines algae and fungus, lichens grow in many forms and on a variety of surfaces, from trees to rocks. The Nordic region has a long tradition of using lichen dyes, and in this class, we’ll use the Minnesota “cousins” to Nordic varieties to explore an array of hues. Duluthian and biologist Theresa Hornstein will help students explore the beautiful colors that can be coaxed from the lichens common to our northern landscapes. Students will receive six 30-yard skeins of yarn to dye in the colors of their choice (enough for a few small projects), and will learn how to prepare the lichen dye baths, mordant fibers, modify colors, and identify common lichens for dyeing, and ethical lichen harvesting.

A $25 materials fee payable to the instructor is due during class. Suitable for ages 16+ or 14–15 accompanied by a registered adult.