Kim's Blog

Mushroom Dyeing

Mushroom dyed yarn samples and Ann Paulsen Harmer's newly released book on dyeing with mushrooms.

Mushroom dyed yarn samples and Ann Paulsen Harmer’s newly released book on dyeing with mushrooms.

It has been just over a month since I attended a Fungi and Fibre Symposium on the Sunshine Coast just a short ferry ride north of Vancouver, British Columbia and my head is still reeling.  I was away visiting family for 3 weeks immediately following the Symposium but once I returned home I got right to work mordanting yarn, collecting and then drying mushrooms to prepare for some dyeing experiments after Christmas and then some more serious dyeing in the Spring (once I have enough wool spun for a project).

This was the 17th International Symposium (the first held in Canada) with 122 delegates from around the world in attendance.  It was a week filled with learning, foraging and the forging of new friendships.  In addition to daily dyepots and forays into the forests in search of mushrooms we were able sign up for workshops.  The three I attended were: an informative, well-presented “Basic Mushroom ID” workshop with Dr. John Field; “Exploring Lichen Dyes” with Alissa Allen and “The Chemistry of Mushroom Pigments” co-presented by Preben Sørensen and Jytte and Jørgen Albertsen, members of the Danish Mycological Society.  I feel most fortunate to have been able to attend and am thankful to the Organizing Committee, the host of Volunteers who worked so hard before and during the Symposium to ensure things ran smoothly and the Workshop Presenters for their generous and sharing  spirits.  It was an extremely well-run and thought out event and one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.  A huge thanks to all involved.

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