We decided to experiment with some lichens for natural dying. Lichens are notoriously difficult to correctly identify as there are so many different species that look very similar, and as with seaweeds, a lot do not even have common names, and are only known by their scientific name.
Not all lichens can be used for dying, and even fewer in the method we used to create this fabulous colour. This colour was produced by using the AFM (ammonia fermentation method) which takes a minimum of 16 weeks, however this one had been fermenting for longer. This dye is UV sensitive, so when it first came out of the dye bath it was a vibrant pink. One sample was left to dry outside in sunlight on a not particularly bright day, and the other inside away from direct sunlight but not covered. The sample exposed to UV light changed into a blue colour and the inside sample dried to more of a purple than the original pink.
I will do a full write up for the website in the coming weeks on the exact process used, and other examples of lichen dyes so keep an eye out for it.
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