|Trametes versicolor - July 2015|
While out in the woods with my husband scouting for wild blackberries, I came across a stump loaded with Trametes versicolor. This was really exciting because I had read about it in the book "Rainbow Beneath My Feet," by Arleen and Alan Bessette, and read that with mordants it can yield colors in the blues and greens. Their dye notes indicate : No mordant - light grey, alum - blue; chrome - greenish blue; tin - dark blue; copper - light green; iron - greenish blue. I could hardly wait to get started!
We were able to harvest 11 oz. of the mushroom.
|Trametes versicolor - 11 oz.|
|BFL wool roving - white & taupe mix - 5 oz.|
|Pre-mordanted BFL wool, ready for dyeing|
I had chopped the mushroom into thumb-nail sized pieces, covered with water and left to soak over night. The next morning I brought the mushrooms to a simmer and let simmer at least a couple of hours, reading that a longer simmer would yield more color. After turning off the heat, I left the mushrooms in the dye bath while it cooled.
|Trametes versicolor chopped in thumb-nail sized pieces - July 2015|
Next I strained out the mushroom and entered my pre-soaked fibers. Each batch of fiber was in a small net bag to keep the fibers from floating apart in the dye bath. Then I brought the bath to a simmer and let simmer for just under an hour. The fibers were left to cool in the pot over night. The next morning I rinsed and left to dry.
To say the least, I was greatly disappointed. Nothing but shades of light brown. Not a speck of blue or green to be seen. Hmmm.
|Left to right: alum, copper, tin, iron|