november, 2019

08nov(nov 8)10:00 am10dec(dec 10)4:00 pmForaging for Color: A Mushroom & Lichens Dye Workshop with Alissa Allen of Mycopigments(november 8) 10:00 am - (december 10) 4:00 pm

Event Details

ALISSA’S WORKSHOP HAS SOLD OUT, and a wait list is underway. To be added to the wait list, please email and include a phone number in your email message. Thank you!

Program fee includes the following supplies: field kit, instructional booklet, 3 page color guide to best dye species, silk scarf and dye testing kit.

Day One: Field Study and Testing for Color

Take a slow walk through a nearby woodland to observe lichens and fungi in their natural habitat, while getting a deeper, hands-on understanding of their ecological niche.  We’ll discuss the difference between collecting specimens for identification, dyeing and dye testing.  After our walk, we will return to the classroom to test mushrooms and lichens for color. This process will determine whether a species has dye value and if so, the best route to optimal color. We will observe and discuss fungal features, perform chemical spot tests on lichens, and take field notes of finds. This will prepare you to forage for dye species on your own.

Day Two: Regional Dye Palette

Using a selection of local dye mushrooms and lichens, we will dye a rainbow of samples. We’ll go over the special techniques required for optimal results with each fungal pigment group. Students will be guided through the steps for making a simple, yet elegant arashi shibori inspired silk design. Participants receive recipes, a procedural handout, a customized guide to the best local dye fungi and will create a beautiful hand dyed scarf. I will cover all aspects of getting started with mushroom and lichen dyes and prepare you to carry on your own exploration.

Day Three: Maximizing Dye Potential/Mushroom Dyes on Multiple Fibers

We will build on our experience of maximizing dye potential by utilizing our strong exhaust baths for marbled skeins and pastels. We’ll also be working with a few new concentrated baths of common dye species from the area. This is an opportunity to explore how all fibers take the dye a little differently. Students are encouraged to bring a minimum of 6 oz of their own selection of protein based yarn or fibers divided into 1oz skeins or bundles. No pre-treatment necessary. We’ll add mordant directly to the pot. Bring extra fiber, 6 oz/ person is the aim, but there will likely be lots of extra color. This is a fun day to play!


Alissa Allen is a self-taught mycologist and the founder of Mycopigments. She specializes in teaching about regional mushroom and lichen dye palettes to fiber artists and mushroom enthusiasts all over the world. Alissa got her start in the Pacific Northwest and has been sharing her passion for mushrooms for over 15 years. She has written articles for her website as well as Fungi Magazine and Fibershed. In 2015 she created the Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United discussion group and The Mushroom Dyers Trading Post. These groups have grown into a community of over 6000 members. In 2020 Alissa will host the International Fungus and Fiber Symposium in the US at a location yet to be disclosed. Alissa uses brilliant colors found in fungal dyes to entice people to take a closer look at mushrooms and lichens and the role they play in the greater ecosystem. To read more about her work, visit


November 8 (Friday) 10:00 am - December 10 (Tuesday) 4:00 pm

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